rouble hits the books

If you wanted a new school built in Copper Ridge you are out of luck. Unless, of course, you are planning to have a child in two years.

If you wanted a new school built in Copper Ridge you are out of luck.

Unless, of course, you are planning to have a child in two years.

That’s because it will be at least seven years before a new elementary school is built in Copper Ridge.

The odds the government will race to replace the battered FH Collins are similarly long.

Of course, you won’t get a politician to say that.

They are too busy reading.

Last week, the government finally released a report by Victoria-based Hold Fast Consultants Inc.

The document is one of the worst-kept secrets in the territory.

Consultant Bruce McAskill submitted the “final report” (his words) to the government on May 23.

A broad spectrum of education officials was briefed on its contents after it was delivered.

But, for some reason, Education Minister Patrick Rouble was out of the loop.

He sat on the document, even going so far as to deny it was finished, despite McAskill’s assertion to the contrary.

The document was finally released last week.

For some strange reason, it was dated June 25th, about a week after Rouble denied having seen it.

In the 57-page report, the consultants said — and this is a paraphrase — given enrollment numbers, it would be bananas to build a new school in the Whitehorse area.

The Yukon Party promised to build one during the last election.

And that’s probably why Rouble sat on the report until the middle of vacation season, releasing the document just as record floodwaters were being recorded in the Southern Lakes region.

McAskill’s team suggested the government do nothing for five years.

As well, the report — dubbed School Facilities Study — recommended the government conduct, get this, a study before deciding whether to build a new school, or schools.

“The review should consider factors including school programs, student population shifts within Whitehorse, as well as determine if, where and when elementary and secondary schools be constructed.”

Rouble spent $79,360 on the Hold Fast report.

In interviews on Wednesday, Rouble said he will study the school issue further.

Enrolling in a remedial course in decisiveness might be a better use of his time. (RM)