Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Doug Currie is one step closer to having the power to remove the Eastern School District trustees after he brought forward new legislation Wednesday.
But Currie still says the powers the amended School Act will give him will only be used if absolutely necessary.
“As I’ve indicated on a number of occasions, the last thing that we want to be doing is dismantling elected boards,” he said.
Once it is passed, the bill will give Currie the power to remove school board trustees and appoint an official trustee in their place to conduct business if the education and early childhood development minister considers it in the public interest to do so.
The legislation comes after growing problems with the Eastern School District board, including a Nov. 17 meeting that saw district chairman Robert Clow bring a lawyer to the meeting, the resignation of a trustee and a request from the P.E.I. Home and School Federation that asked Currie to investigate the dysfunctional operations of the board.
If he chooses to remove the board, the act gives Currie’s official trustee the powers and duties of a school board for as long as the minister sets out, but not past the date the next school board will take office after an election of a new board.
“I do now have the ability to appoint a trustee to manage those affairs in the absence of the board,” Currie said.