Healthy Candidates: all parties support smaller schools

Smaller schools was a big part of my school board trustee campaign last year. There are MANY reasons to support smaller schools but one of the major ones is that smaller schools are closer to home and, therefore, encourage students to walk rather than drive or take a bus.

That was so last year. This year, Ontario voters find themselves in the throes of another election campaign – this time to elect their Members of Provincial Parliament. As I’ve promised before, I’m not going to get into my personal partisan here.

What I do want to share with you, however, is a campaign within the campaign being run by the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The campaign, called ‘Healthy Candidates’ encourages all provincial election candidates to endorse a set of policy recommendations. Among the policy recommendations is the following:

Healthy Communities: greater support and funding for community planning that encourages mixed land use, greater density to enhance active transportation that is safe, secure and financially viable. A specific concern that was expressed was the construction of mega-schools even at the elementary level that require busing.

via Healthy Candidates.

Now, I will admit that this does not say “build smaller schools” but the idea is clearly there that larger schools with larger boundaries are necessarily pre-disposed to relying on busing to get kids to school. You may recall that we are dealing with this ourselves here in south-east Galt.

I applaud the Heart & Stroke Foundation for making the connection between walking vs. busing and its impact on childhood obesity. I also hope that the candidates from all parties who have endorsed the campaign will also support efforts to create smaller schools across Ontario.

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