Money collected from developers should go to TDSB for repairs: Horwath
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Friday, December 1, 2017 3:05PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 1, 2017 6:58PM EST
Money collected from developers to fund the construction of new schools should also be made available to boards struggling to fund badly needed repairs, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says.
Horwath held a news conference outside Dovercourt Public School on Friday morning, where she announced her support for amending the regulations surrounding Education Development Charges (EDC’s) so they can also be used to pay for school repairs.
Horwath said that the change would be especially beneficial to the Toronto District School Board as it works to address a $3.7 billion repair backlog.
“Families in every single neighbourhood from Parkdale to Davenport to Leslieveille should be able to count on having great local schools for their kids but as I listen to parents it is clear that children are being let down by Premier Wynne,” Horwath said. “There are classrooms that are so cold in the winter that children are wearing their mitts and coats at their desk, roofs are leaking, washrooms are not functioning and there is lead in the water pipes at far too many schools.”
Developers of residential buildings can be charged $1,493 in educational development charges per unit while developers of commercial buildings can be required to fork over $1.07 in educational development charges for every square foot of space developed.
The money, however, can only go to the acquisition of land for new schools.
As a result the Toronto District School Board, which has dealt with declining enrollment in recent years, does not receive any funds.
Meanwhile, officials at the TDSB estimate that the Toronto Catholic District School Board has received about $300 million from the development charges in just the last few years.
“Toronto families deserve much better than this but today the city is not getting the provincial leadership it needs,” Horwath said on Friday. “In such a vibrant, growing city as this we can fix our children’s schools.”
Horwath was joined by Trinity-Spadina Coun. Mike Layton as well as TDSB Trustees Marit Stiles, Chris Moise, and Chris Glover at Friday’s news conference.
Speaking with reporters following the news conference, Glover said that the TDSB has previously asked for the regulation to be amended but has been rebuffed.
He said that the TDSB should be able to benefit from the pace of development in the city.
“We get nothing for our public schools even with all the cranes there are in the city,” he said.