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CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “School boards, communities and the province are missing a golden opportunity when it comes to closing schools in Nova Scotia.”

Reacting to school closures and amalgamations in Tri-County Regional School Board, Cavanagh says, “We have to view these buildings as an asset and not a liability. There’s an opportunity for these buildings to become community centerpieces.

For starters, we can provide badly-needed public early learning and childcare in these classrooms. Our provincial government needs to strike out in a bold new direction on this issue. Space for community services, welfare services, volunteer organizations, even ambulance services or a community clinic could also be considered,” he says.

Says Cavanagh, “The gymnasiums and performance spaces are a huge asset, especially in rural Nova Scotia where these kinds of facilities are few and far between.”

Cavanagh is challenging elected leaders at all levels to rethink the way we view schools in our communities. “Schools are being threatened with closure in virtually every school board this province and it’s not right,” he says.

CUPE Nova Scotia is the provinces 2nd largest union, representing more than 18,000 working women and men employed throughout the public sector.