380 Children Without a Permanent School Need Your Support Now!
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In 2001, the site of École Rose des Vents (RDV) was purchased by the Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF) as the future site of its Metro Vancouver Secondary School. RDV was setup as a temporary elementary school, with the promise of a new school to be built elsewhere before the construction of the secondary school in 2008. However, 15 years later, RDV remains on the temporary location wedged beside the secondary school. We are overcrowded, oversubscribed, and both the elementary and secondary schools are losing current and future families due to inadequate facilities.
In April 2015, RDV won its appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) declaring RDV parents have the right, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to equal educational facilities as offered by the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to neighbouring Anglophone schools. The SCC found that the current conditions at RDV violate Section 23 of the Charter.
- RDV was built to welcome 199 students, currently there are 348 students enrolled plus a daycare and a preschool (a total of 380 children on the site)
- The school has no gymnasium or auditorium, no sports field, no cafeteria, no covered play area, and an undersized library
- Only 3 classrooms meet the 75 sq.m. minimum as dictated by Ministry of Education
- Comparable VSB schools have an average ratio of 10 sq.m. per child whereas RDV’s ratio is 5.4 sq.m. per child
- There are only 9 toilets for 380 children and staff
- The elementary students must share facilities with the secondary school however the secondary school was not built to share facilities with a primary school
In September 2016 the secondary school will reach full capacity and the students of RDV must vacate the shared space. The families are tired of band aid solutions and ask for a real solution as declared by the SCC in its April 2015 decision in favour of RDV parents.
The BC Provincial Government of Christy Clark has continued to renounce on its obligations by passing the onus to lease a site to the CSF onto the VSB. The VSB has stated there are no available sites for lease. The Minister of Education continues to refuse to meet with the CSF to find a permanent solution such as a land purchase or leasing the vacant building.
Why Sign This Petition?
Next door to the school sits a vacant building on 21 acres of federal land now up for lease pending redevelopment. The Administration Building built in 1953 has been recognized for its architectural significance and historical associations as one of the few buildings left in Vancouver in the International Style. If no action is taken, it will be demolished in 2020: we are not against re-development of the site but we need to act quickly before this building is razed and replaced with luxury condos!
We ask the federal government to support our rights in response to the violation of article 23 as declared by the SCC which requests equivalent facilities to those offered by the VSB. We ask the federal government to lease or sell this building to the CSF, thereby also saving Vancouver's heritage - two positive results with one action! We want our existing school to continue being a positive contributor to this community and your support is essential for this to happen: a real solution for our children.
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