Witmer tackles Ottawa board. It looks like Elizabeth Witmer might finally be taking some action. I have to say that I discount most of what Libby has to say. Ottawa, for those of you who don’t know this city, is surrounded by a greenbelt several kilometres wide. The idea, at the time, was to contain urban sprawl — nobody would want to live outside the city, was the theory. 30 years ago, when I was growing up here, that was true. Times change. Today, most of the development is happening outside the greenbelt. The Catholic school board recognized that a while ago, closed some of the downtown schools, and has been on a building spree ever since outside the greenbelt. The Ottawa school board didn’t. So, in my neighbourhood there are two brand spanking new Catholic high schools, but my oldest son, entering grade 9 this fall, will be bussed to Richmond, and attend South Carleton High School, which is one of the oldest schools in the region. And South Carleton is already busting at the seams. Manotick Elementary, my younger children’s school, is overcapacity. Rideau Valley Middle School — same story. Meanwhile, downtown, we have multiple elementary schools operating below capacity within a kilometre of each other, and whacky proposals to share principals between them.
Something has to give.