“Voices muzzled” as TVDSB rejects public delegations over school closures

Thames Valley District School Board has told mayors, parents and even an MPP who’s also a Cabinet minister they won’t be allowed to speak during a board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 22, where Elgin-St. Thomas trustees Meagan Ruddock and Bruce Smith will try to overturn previous decisions to close elementary schools in Springfield and New Sarum.

Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek, who’s also Ontario Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, issued a special statement as soon as he learned Thursday morning, Oct. 17, he was being denied an opportunity to speak.

He said he’d planned to make a case for still building a new elementary school in Belmont, albeit at a smaller size than originally proposed by the board, and keeping New Sarum and Springfield schools open.

Ms. Ruddock, contacted later Thursday, said she’d heard nothing official from the board, but each of the delegations that had planned to make presentations to the board had told her their requests to appear had been denied.

“I do find it incredibly disappointing,” she said. “Their voices have been muzzled.”