At the October 5, 2021 press conference, Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton, Mr. Thomas D’Amico, Director of Education of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and Mr. Marc Bertrand, Director of Education of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est (CECCE ), announced the publication of two petitions, one in favor of the construction of a new school and the other to increase the reception capacity of the Paul-Desmarais Catholic High School. They were joined by Councilor Carol-Anne Meehan, several representatives from both school boards, as well as parents and members of the public. Councillor Glen Gower was unable to attend due to a prior commitment.
“I firmly believe in public education,” said MPP Ghamari. “One of the reasons I ran for provincial election was to see more schools built in growing Carleton communities like Stittsville, Findlay Creek and Riverside South. It has now been three years since I was elected and I have already succeeded in obtaining funds for the construction of four new schools in my riding of Carleton. I have also had several meetings with the OCSB and the CECCE, to discuss the need to build new schools and increase the capacity of students in the constituency.”
Ghamari is asking residents to sign the petitions (at the links below) so she can present the electronic petitions directly to the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, early next week. “I hope to receive as many signatures as possible – the more the better,” said Ghamari, “I am hoping to get 200 to 300 signatures by the end of the week to send a strong message to the Minister of the need for these schools”.
- The first petition calls on the Ontario government to approve funding for the construction of the first English Catholic elementary school in Findlay Creek.
- The second petition calls on the Ontario government to approve funding for the expansion of the Paul-Desmarais Catholic High School in Stittsville, which will increase the capacity of the school, which is currently in a critical situation.
The director of education of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est (CECCE), Marc Bertrand, indicates that: “The expansion of the Paul-Desmarais Catholic high school is a priority capital project for the CECCE, so that it significantly exceeds its reception capacity. Moreover, this school stands out for its offer of the most interesting programs, in particular its concentration CIEL (Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership) which opens the doors to students to a constantly changing world. The Sports-Studies, Arts, Technologies and Business components allow our students to develop and adapt as never before to the challenges that await them. The school is also equipped with a sports dome, a state-of-the-art facility that allows students to practice sports year-round”.
The president of the CECCE, Johanne Lacombe, continued as follows, “I sincerely thank MPP Goldie Ghamari for her dedication and support in this process and I hope that this expansion project can begin soon”.
“School counselors from the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) have advocated for a Catholic elementary school in Findlay Creek for many years. Now is the time for our number one capital priority to receive funding so that we can keep Catholic students in their communities. It will take at least two more years for a school to be built in Findlay Creek. We, therefore, hope that the next round of capital project announcements will prioritize this growing community,” added Thomas D’Amico, Director of Education at OCSB.
“Together, I believe we can send a strong message to Queen’s Park that these two priority capital projects are needed,” said MPP Ghamari. “This is why these two petitions are so important; the more signatures we have, the more impact the message will have. So, I ask for everyone’s support to be a strong voice for the communities of Stittsville and Findlay Creek. I encourage you to sign and share these petitions with your friends, family and neighbors in Findlay Creek and Stittsville. I hope that together we can make sure these two projects cross the finish line. “
For any questions or additional information about the CECCE announcement, please contact Michèle Josée Arsenault, Communications Advisor, CECCE, by telephone at 506 377-2677 or email email@example.com.