As Leader Thomas Trappenberg, Deputy Leader Jessica Alexander, and other Greens joined in a protest of logging in the Corbett-Dalhousie Lake Forest, Co-President June Trenholm of Dartmouth was busy putting fingers to keyboard to get our message out to an even broader swath of Nova Scotians.
Have a look at her recent Opinion article in the Chronicle-Herald, available at the link below:
This past weekend, at the GPNS retreat, some of the other Executive members who were present said “Ashley, you’re interested in transportation issues, why don’t you write a bit more for the website about, you know, trains and buses and planes and stuff!”
Little did they know that the very first thing they’d get would be about where to put schools!
…But that’s the thing – we can never achieve decent, efficient, low-carbon transportation (no, not even with electric cars!) if we don’t put our starts and our finishes in reasonable places – preferrably not very far apart, but at least in places where people can easily travel together to reach them.
So when Education Minister Zach Churchill*’s announcement about streamlining the process for new-school site selection came across my Twitter feed, it seemed like a great chance to emphasize this. Here’s what I pulled together, as a proposed set of principles for the GPNS on this issue:
School Location and Climate Health
The Green Party of Nova Scotia would emphasize the relationship between climate and community planning – particularly transportation questions – when selecting school sites. Carbon-emissions impacts must be considered.
School-aged students make up over a quarter of Nova Scotia’s daily “commuters” (121,000 public school students vs. 381,000 full-time workers), so the locations of their destinations has a huge impact on our daily carbon emissions from transportation.
Locating schools in locations where students can safely walk and/or cycle to school improves health outcomes, and those students’ social connection to their communities.
Therefore, the Green Party proposes the following additional/complementary criteria for locations of schools:
Let me know what you think!
*Full disclosure: I’m currently in the middle of my Bachelor of Education, and hope to be employed in the Nova Scotia public education system by this time next year. I don’t think that has anything to do with any of these principles, though!