Alberta School Boards should support a tax on sugary drinks.

On April 7th, the Edmonton Public School Board will be debating adding their support to the growing number of organizations calling for a fifty cents per litre added tax on Sugar-added beverages.

It is further requested that these additional revenues (conservatively estimated at $168 million per year) be targeted at health and wellness prevention initiatives for students.

If the Edmonton Public School Board supports this idea there are two potential pathways forward. First, it could be put forward to the Alberta School Boards Association for debate at the June 1st Spring General Meeting. Secondly, it could be advanced for debate to our regional School board area (ASBA Zone 2/3) as a potential policy position to be brought forward to the Fall General Meeting in November 2015.

My preference is that we could have the debate sooner at Spring General Meeting 2015 in Red Deer, and provide an opportunity for all school boards to support a new revenue tool that would combine a deterrent to unhealthy consumption habits while additionally raising provincial revenue– funds that could be invested in prevention activities, especially those targeted at supporting positive lifelong nutritional habits for students.

RECOMMENDATION That the following proposed Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) policy positions for submission to ASBA Zone 23 be approved:

1. That the Alberta School Boards Association write a letter to the Minister of Health in support of the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention’s recommendation that The Alberta Government establish a 50 cent per litre tax on sugary drinks in Alberta and request that additional revenues be targeted to student health and wellness in Alberta.

2. That Recommendation 1 be forwarded as an emergent policy issue for the Alberta School Boards Association Spring General meeting.

See the full recommendation report and additional research here:

Metro News:

Recommendation 1 – Rationale

A January 2015 media release (Attachment II) from the The Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (APCCP) states that: Decreased sugary drink consumption has major benefits for Albertans, such as reduced risk of chronic disease, improved quality of life, increased productivity and academic performance for students, as well reduced health care costs. In terms of revenue generation, a 50 cent/ litre consumption levy could generate approximately $158 million annually for the province, assuming a 20 percent reduction in consumption from taxation (7,8).

The February 2015 APCCP’s Submission Recommendations for a Levy on Sugary Drinks in Alberta (Attachment III) states that: A provincial levy on sugary drinks is one evidence-informed intervention with potential to reduce consumption of sugary drinks, improve health and generate revenue for the province (17, 18). Advocating for a sugar-added drinks tax would further support the work of school boards and the Alberta School Boards Association in comprehensive school health similar to anti-tobacco initiatives already supported by school districts.

Extensive research supports the conclusion that, when it comes to disease prevention and health promotion, it is important to address nutrition as well as physical fitness. Many health advocates are suggesting that in order for us to make tangible improvements in health promotion in our society, a combination of price pressures and consumer education are needed. An October 2014 brief by Professor Timothy Caulfield and Senior Lecturer Nola M. Ries Obesity Policy: The Way Forward for the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has been provided (Attachment IV) as additional information in support of the recommendation.

The ASBA seeks to work with provincial partners to support healthy students, healthy families, and a healthy province. The ASBA also continues to advocate for adequate, predictable, sustainable funding for public education and supporting this measure could support comprehensive societal health and assist in resourcing further health promotion work in public education. While it may seem unconventional for school boards to advocate on behalf of a specific Provincial revenue tool, this recommendation would be complementary to many other close-but-not-core-to-mandate initiatives that boards have supported such as reducing child poverty, comprehensive school health, early learning, community revitalization, and many others.

Recommendation 2 – Rationale

This is a timely issue given that the Province is currently considering possible additional revenue sources. Having the policy position brought forward for discussion at the Spring General Meeting as an emergent issue rather than at the Fall General Meeting would allow the provincial government additional time to develop implementation of this initiative. ASBA process allows boards to submit any proposed emergent policies to the ASBA for consideration at the Spring General Meeting by May 1, 2015.


From the APCCP:

The Time is Right for an Alberta Levy on Sugary Drinks EDMONTON – A provincial coalition of prominent health groups is calling on the Premier to establish a levy on sugary drinks to reduce consumption of these unhealthy products and generate revenue for the province.

Sugary drinks, which include soft drinks and energy drinks, are unlike other food and beverages because they offer virtually no nutritional benefits, are empty calories that don’t fully satisfy hunger and are linked to serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes (1-6). “Sugar-loaded drinks are placing an enormous burden on our quality of life, our economy and our health care system,” said Rachel Prowse, Registered Dietitian and PhD student at the University of Alberta. “The need for action to reduce consumption of sugary drinks is clear.”

Placing a levy on sugary drinks is a win-win for Alberta. “Not only will a levy reduce consumption of sugar-loaded drinks, it will also generate much needed revenue,” comments Kate Chidester of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and member of the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (APCCP). “Decreased sugary drink consumption has major benefits for Albertans, such as reduced risk of chronic disease, improved quality of life, increased productivity and academic performance for students, as well reduced health care costs.”

In terms of revenue generation, a 50 cent/litre consumption levy could generate approximately 158 million annually for the province, assuming a 20% reduction in consumption from taxation (7, 8).

The APCCP recommends using a portion of the revenue generated from the levy to establish a Wellness Foundation, which would provide sustainable funding for health promotion programs in Alberta. “When the province faces a budget deficit, vital programs aimed at promoting Albertans’ health and wellbeing often risk being cut,” notes Kate Chidester. “A Wellness Foundation would help ensure these programs are available for Albertans when they need them the most.”

According to a recent 2014 survey of the Albertan public, a majority of respondents (57%) support taxing soft drinks and energy drinks.


It was an honor to serve the Edmonton Public Library

Sadly, May 2015 concludes my service as a Trustee on the Edmonton Public Library Board. For the past six years (a two-year term renewed to a maximum of three consecutive terms) I have served as a community member in supporting policy governance for one undoubtedly one of the finest libraries in Alberta (Canada? The world? The cosmos?) and institutions in our city. You might say that it is the end of my renewals and it is time to lend the book to another trusted patron.
As you likely know, the City of Edmonton has numerous opportunities for citizens to engage with our institutions (See the 25 Agencies, Boards, and Commissions and Task Force Opportunities: In 2009, I was one of the citizens who was fortunate to apply and fill one of the vacancies on the board. The commitment included monthly board meetings (dealing with the fiduciary, strategic, and generative governance aspects of the library) committee meetings, budget meetings, community events (Freedom to Read is my favorite) and phenomenal professional development opportunities.
Six years later, my time serving on the Edmonton Public Library Board has been one of my most rewarding and personal growth experiences. I have treasured our Tuesday evening discussions and the brilliant citizens and senior staff who have shared with me their wisdom and their mentorship. Service to EPL has been an incredible personal development opportunity— both in terms of formal professional development offered through service but also through the lessons I’ve learned about being a good board member and a contributor to a team. You have a chance to think strategically about the big-picture of a multi-million dollar organization while balancing different competing values, interests and mitigating factors. Through the creation of good policy we were able to move ahead together through many tricky conversations— intellectual freedom, library access, marketing and advertising, equity, fund development, library locations, fine policy, membership fees, and many more complex issues.
The Edmonton Public Library surpasses expectations and definition of what a library is or should be. From the video games and digital content to the important social services that our community librarians offer daily, the EPL Team is constantly brainstorming how they can engage all Edmontonians — learning, engagement, and possibility. All of us ought to support the library with our time, talent, or treasure.
For those of you thinking of putting forward your name, without reservation I encourage you to do so. Here are some of the other highlights I experienced in my journey:
A supportive City Council: EPL has been well supported by civic leadership who “get it”. They understand that the livability of a community is just as important to the attraction and retention of labour as many other conventional dashboard indicators. They understand that literacy is the backbone to success for our city and that this is an area that makes economic and social sense and cents. I hope that this support continues in future budget cycles.
Access for all (free memberships!): Waiving the minimal membership fee has made a significant, quantifiable impact in making the library more accessible to more Edmontonians. Being part of a board and administration that drafted a plan to do so in a cost-neutral way that found efficiencies and increased fundraising revenue was a wonderful 100th birthday present to Edmontonians that I hope we can sustain in the future. We need to continue to remove barriers to access and this fee was more than a symbolic victory about the importance of the library as a public good—(which it is and I fundamentally agree with)— but it has already resulted in more material shared for our civic buck.
Re-conceptualizing the potential of the modern library: Service to the EPL Board has enlightened me to many of the fantastic functions of the modern library. Library operations are complex and fascinating. Community librarians. Makerspaces. Capital planning and open-space library architecture. Service to new immigrant communities, language minorities, aging citizens, urban aboriginals, and sexual identity and gender minority patrons. Holds and hardcovers were once the meat and potatoes, but EPL is constantly innovating to serve our ever-growing and diverse city in unique and creative ways.
Collaborating with amazing citizen leaders: The other volunteer board leaders I have had the privilege of working with are phenomenal individuals who I consider to be good friends and passionate advocates. They come from a wide array of backgrounds and each brought a unique perspective and contribution. I have learned so much from each of them.
Inspired EPL Staff: The EPL Staff are incredible. From the senior management to the front line staff, I found my interactions to be fascinating and I learned so much from their enthusiasm and passion for sharing. They are the backbone of our library and make every branch a welcoming and special space.
Linda Cook: I cannot say enough kind words about our outgoing CEO as she transitions to new adventures. She has been pivotal in building EPL and she has left behind an incredible legacy. She is a national leader, teacher, and visionary. Read more about her acomplishments as a nationally (and now internationally recognized leader) recognized leader here:
ALTA: Working with the Alberta Library Trustees’ Association (and the Public Library Branch with Punch Jackson and Diana Davidson) was a fascinating learning experience about libraries throughout Alberta. Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities and crucial to sustaining quality of life in our province.
The EPL Centennial: What a fantastic celebration. Rick Mercer? Mary Walsh? Free memberships? Cake? Wow.
Library of the Year: This is a major award. This is an incredible honor that must be given its due. Wow. Library experts from around North America (including many other cities with much bigger budgets) have rightly recognized our city and our library. Well done.
Library Fundraisers: EPL Is an amazing public resource but we can really level-up our contribution to the community with the generosity of those who can share even more: I support the library with my time, talent, and treasure. I encourage you to do the same.
Get involved and apply today. Not just for the EPL board, but every board that piques your interest! Next Gen, the River Valley Alliance, the Police Commission— Get involved in your city today and help champion important causes in your community!
And remember: generously support EPL:

I need your advice- Come to our Dec 3rd Ward F Gathering!

Who: Ward F School Council Chairs, Interested Citizens, Community League Leaders
What: Ward F Community Gathering: Looking Back/Looking Forward
When: Wednesday, December 3rd, 7:00-9:00PM
Where: Strathcona High School School Library
Why: Your public school trustee is your community voice in Edmonton Public School Board decision making and your advocate to other levels of government. You are invited to assist in brainstorming issues that you would like your trustee, Michael Janz, to champion while getting to know other education and community leaders.
The school year is almost halfway through. Let’s celebrate our successes and identify big issues for the second half of the year.
Refreshments will be provided. The event format will be casual table conversations following a brief presentation from Trustee Janz.
Due to space constraints RSVPs are required by December 1st.

There are many important issues on our horizon:

  • How should the district move forward with low-enrollment schools or programs and aging infrastructure?
  • How is your school engaging with the new career pathways initiative?
  • After three consecutive tough provincial budgets, how can our district be an effective financial steward?
  • How can we ensure that all students in our district have equitable access to amazing learning opportunities?
  • What partnerships should be explored at the school or district level to help all students be successful and transition to the world of work?



Congratulations to our New Education Minister Dirks and Thank You to Minister Johnson

Welcome Minister School Trustees look forward to working with you!

At 1:00 PM this afternoon Premier Jim Prentice announced his new cabinet. I would like to offer a warm welcome to Minister Gordon Dirks, our new Minister of Education.

As school trustees our relationship with the Minister of Education is crucial. Countless hours of advocacy work is invested in developing relationships and communicating school board priorities. The Minister is our advocate in cabinet and at Treasury Board for the needs our our students. Whatever we can do to help the Minister make the case for properly resourcing education, the better.

As a former elected school trustee and Board Chair for the Calgary Board of Education he is someone familiar with local education issues in our growing province. Minister Dirks would be well-positioned to assist us.

Other key relationships to develop are the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Infrastructure. We are excited to begin to build relationships with Manmeet Bhullar as Minister of Infrastructure and Robin Campbell as Minister of Finance.

As a system, we need predictable, sustainable funding for public education and have enormous infrastructure challenges we must work together as elected officials to address. Locally-elected school boards will continue to champion the voice of parents and the community in education decision-making.

Thanks to Minister Johnson

I also want to offer a BIG THANKS Minister Jeff Johnson for his service as our minister. He had many difficult challenges to stickhandle and while I didn’t always agree with him, I always found he was willing to engage in dialogue and listen to school trustees — individually, through boards, or through our provincial organization, the Alberta School Boards Association. I’m sure we will continue to work together as he serves in his new role, Minister of Seniors.


Contact or Biographical Information:

Minister of Education Gordon Dirks:

Minister of Infrastructure Manmeet Bhullar

Minister of Finance – Robin Campbell

Minister of Seniors – Jeff Johnson:


Here are the questions the ASBA asked the leadership candidates and their responses:



Board Votes Unanimously in Favor of School Advocacy Plan

Today was our first 2014 EPSB Board Meeting and I have much good news to share. First of all I am greatly honored by my trustee colleagues for re-electing me as EPSB Vice-Chair. I’m excited by the opportunity to serve the board once again in this capacity and support Sarah Hoffman as she serves as the Re-elected Board Chair.
The second piece of pride for me at this meeting was that our board voted UNANIMOUSLY in support of steps that our board will take to advocate for new schools that our communities badly need. School space issues are by far one of the biggest pressures on our district and our city — the fastest growing city in Alberta.
As trustees we need to make sure that we explain to our community the steps we have taken as a board and how we are doing everything within our power. We also need to engage with our community and ensure that we are speaking in stereo in our new school advocacy.
The board spoke unanimously: we want to work together with all other elected officials (our MLAs and City Councillors) to clearly communicate the space needs of current and future Edmonton Public Students. We are all in this together!
 Carried Unanimously:

That the Edmonton Public School Board:

a)  Share a copy of the 2015-2018 Three-Year Capital Plan with each Edmonton memberof the Legislative Assembly, the three Progressive Conservative Party leadership candidates and Edmonton City Council.

b)  Request to meet in person with them to develop a strategy to support them in their advocacy for Edmonton’s urgent school space and transportation needs for Edmonton children.

c)  Urge them to provide a timeline for construction and immediately prioritize the construction of new schools for Edmonton in accordance with the District’s Three- Year Capital Plan Year One priorities:

    1. K-6 Windermere Estates
    2. K-9 The Grange (Glastonbury or Granville)
    3. K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
    4. K-9 Ellerslie/The Orchards
    5. Mature Neighbourhood Replacement school as determined by the Infrastructure Strategy
    6. K-6 Meadows (Laurel)
    7. K-9 South East (Walker)
    8. K-9 Lewis Farms (Secord)
    9. K-9 Heritage Valley (Allard or Chappelle)
    10. Mill Creek School Replacement/Modernization

d) Provide an update to them on the announced 2016 modernization and construction projects and urge their support in expediting this work.

e) Urge the Government to work with school boards to create a clear and transparent process for the awarding of capital projects and new schools. 


Supporting documentation from


On May 2, 2013, the Government of Alberta announced funding for two new district schools through theBuilding Alberta’s School Construction Program. On February 10, 2014, funding for three additional school projects was announced, including two new schools and an expansion to Lillian Osborne School.

All five projects were submitted as new construction priorities in the Three-Year Capital Plan 2014-2017.

The new schools are:


On January 21, 2014, the Government of Alberta announced funding for four school modernization projects and a replacement school for Edmonton Public Schools. These projects were submitted as modernization priorities in the Three-Year Capital Plan 2014-2017.

The modernization projects will be for the following schools:


On June 24, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Superintendent Robertson’s recommendation to build a new replacement school in the Greater Lawton area on the Rundle site. Read more about the replacement school project, including features of the replacement school.

Trustee Compensation, ASBA, and EPSB Student Advisory Council (January 8th Board Updates)

It is always awkward for elected officials to discuss their compensation. I did not vote for any additional compensation for myself, but rather in favor of adjustments for the 2013-2017 Board of Trustees. The new compensation framework will be posted and available to future trustee candidates.

The compensation adjustment is aligned with that given to the exempt management staff. I believe in fair and competitive compensation, aligned with that being paid to other trustees of comparable size and responsibility, that is reflective of the duties and expectations of the community.

Most of the package was status quo and there were no major changes, merely slight adjustments reflective of changing practices.

The 7.69% figure and the 2.25% figure came from agreements that were achieved with the exempt management staff.

I voted in favor of the professional development allocations as I believe that it is crucial for our elected leaders to model lifelong learning. It is important for trustees to remain on the cutting edge of education issues provincially and nationally and working with other education leaders can help ensure those setting policy for the district are making the most informed decisions possible.

To see the full recommendation click here:

I also voted in favor of the trustee policy review plan and timelines detailed here:

I also voted in favor of the Alberta School Boards Association Strategic Plan for 2013-2016. It would see the ASBA focusing on building partnerships, advocacy for school boards, and other worthwhile initiatives.

The Student Advisory Council Recommendation looks sound, and I look forward to it being enacted. I think this will really improve the efficacy of students and their future democratic participation. Research shows that engagement activities such as this are valuable for students and promote lifelong engagement.

January 9, 2013

Board approves remuneration for next term

Yesterday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to increase Trustee remuneration effective October 22, 2013. The increase will not apply to the current Board of Trustees, as it comes into effect after the next school board election in October 2013.

Part of the increased cost will be offset by a decision to eliminate the position of Caucus Committee Chair. The duties previously carried out by this position will be assumed by the Board Vice-Chair.

“The Board wanted to provide the next group of Trustees with fair compensation that reflects the level of work and commitment required of this demanding position,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman “The increase in remuneration is based on the most recent settlements reached with most of the District’s staff groups.”

The Board did not approve a recommendation to retroactively apply cost of living increases to remuneration received by current Trustees.

“Trustees ran for office based on the level of remuneration in place when we were elected,” says Hoffman. “The Board recognized it would not be appropriate for us to approve an increase to our own remuneration.”

The full board report, which is posted on the district website, provides details on all of the remuneration increase recommendations.

The next board meeting will take place on January 15, 2013 at 2 p.m.

– 30 –

For further information, call the Edmonton Public Schools media relations line at 780-429-8282.

Board Committed To Concussion Safety

* Updated: Please see media release below. I am pleased to see the resulting information from our administration and the steps they are taking to ensure that no shortcuts are taken when it comes to student health. *

Building on District Priority #4 (Promote health and wellness for all students and staff) at our Tuesday, November 27th Board meeting I put forward an RFI (Request for Information) to the administration regarding concussions and compliance with best practices.

Request For Information: Please provide information on how EPSB teams are compliant with best practices regarding concussions in athletics.

The safety of our young athletes is an issue of considerable importance to our community. This is an issue I’ve been hearing about frequently from parents, but also from community members given the high-profile attention that many professional athletes are shining on this issue. My intention is to ensure that this information is shared with parents and community members and together with our athletic professionals, we can further support safe sport.
Does the board have the proper policies in place to support the health of our kids?
For now, this post is merely a placeholder. Once I have the response from administration I will update and amend this blog post with links and references to the relevant material.
A district parent sent me these resources and if you have other links, please let me know and I will share them:

January 16, 2013

Board committed to concussion safety

Yesterday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees received a report on the District’s use of best practices to prevent and address concussions among student athletes.

Board policy outlines the expectation that district staff provide safe learning environments for all students taking part in interschool athletic activities. To maximize student safety, staff must follow the Safety Guidelines for Secondary Interschool Athletics in Alberta and must implement safe coaching practices for athletic activities.

In addition, at least one member of a team’s coaching staff must have taken the Alberta Schools Athletic Association’s Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know online course. Most recently, in November 2012, schools were provided with a Return to Learn Post-concussion Protocol to guide district staff in supporting students who are recovering from a concussion.

“The Board places the highest possible value on ensuring student safety,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “The District is taking the necessary steps to minimize the likelihood of concussions and to take appropriate action if they do occur.”

The District’s Comprehensive School Health team will continue to review district practice and make any necessary adjustments required to support student safety on and off the sports field. More details on concussion safety at Edmonton Public Schools can be found in the full board report, which is posted on the district website at

Honoured to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

On November 14th, 2012, I was honoured to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from Premier Redford and Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell.

I was honoured to share a special afternoon with the other recipients. They represented quite a cross-section of Albertan society and I’m sure their families and friends are very proud. I’ve posted the names of the other Edmonton winners below. Congratulations everyone!

Diamond Jubilee Medal

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honours Her Majesty’s service to our country. It also honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

  • Edmonton

    Premier Alison Redford presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to more than one hundred recipients from across the province and various walks of life during a ceremony on November 14, 2012.

    • Ms. Muriel Abdurahman
    • Mr. Ken Agrell-Smith
    • Mr. Giuseppe Albi
    • Mr. Trevor Anderson
    • Ms. Marg Andriuk
    • Mr. Tesfaye Ayalew
    • Mr. Bob Baker
    • Ms. Juanita Bartsch
    • Mr. Reg Basken
    • Mr. Warren Becker
    • Mr. Murray Billett
    • Mrs. Lillian Boddez
    • Mr. Allan Bolstad
    • Mr. Ron Bos
    • Deputy Chief (Retd) Mike Bradshaw
    • Mr. John Brennan
    • Ms. Sandra Bromley
    • Mr. Glen Buick
    • Ms. Mary Cameron
    • Ms. Cindy Chiasson
    • Ms. Yvonne Chiu
    • Const. Timothy Connell
    • Ms. Linda Cook
    • Ms. Judy Cosco
    • His Worship Nolan Crouse
    • Mr. Chester Cunningham
    • Mr. Rick Curtis
    • Mr. Russ Dahms
    • His Worship Headley Dennill
    • Ms. Sylvie Duchesne
    • Ms. Terri Duncan
    • Sgt. Bruce Edwards
    • Ms. Iris Evans
    • Dr. Laurier Fagnan
    • Ms. Val Figliuzzi
    • Mr. Martin Forbes
    • Mr. Werner Frose
    • Mr. Gord Fuhr
    • Mr. Dave Ganert
    • Mr. Martin Garber-Conrad
    • Ms. Peggy Garritty
    • Mr. Brian Geislinger
    • Mr. Doug Goss
    • Ms. Susan Green
    • Mr. Syed Hasan
    • Mr. Doug Haynes
    • Mr. John Healy
    • Ms. Sylvia Holcomb
    • Ms. Carol Holmes
    • Mr. Danny Hooper
    • His Worship Stuart Houston
    • Mr. Ernie Ingles
    • Mr. Michael James
    • Mr. Michael Janz
    • Mr. Mykola Kanevets
    • Her Worship Gale Katchur
    • Ms. Sue Keating
    • Mr. Wallis Kendal
    • Ms. Cathy King
    • Ms. Suzan Krecsy
    • His Worship Gregory Krischke
    • Ms. Deborah Kully
    • Most Reverend Joseph MacNeil
    • Mr. Jean Grand-Maitre
    • Mr. John Mahon
    • Mrs. Lynn Mandel
    • Mr. Loryn Marcellus
    • Mr. Ray Martin
    • Mr. Julian Mayne
    • Mr. Scot McAvoy
    • Mr. Ross McBain
    • Mr. Blake McDougall
    • Mr. Tom McFall
    • Mr. Paul McLoughlin
    • Ms. Christy Morin
    • Mr. Joseph Moss
    • His Worship Jeff Mulligan
    • Mr. Reza Nasseri
    • Mr. Don Neufeld
    • Mr. Thanh Nguyen
    • Ms. Brenda O’Donnell
    • Ms. Sheila O’Kelly
    • Ms. Fardoussa Omar
    • Ms. Mary O’Neill
    • Ms. Janet E. Parks
    • Mr. Masood Peracha
    • Mr. Rajmund Pierzchajlo
    • Mr. Carmelo Rago
    • Ms. Stella Rago
    • Ms. Jean Richards
    • Inspector Terry Rocchio
    • Mr. Bruce Saville
    • Inspector Darlene Savoie
    • Mr. Allan Scott
    • Mr. Lawrie Seligman
    • Mr. Robert Sinclair
    • Mr. Alan Skoreyko
    • Ms. Teresa Spinelli
    • Mr. Bob Splane
    • Mr. Doug Stollery
    • Ms. Colleen Sutherland
    • Grand Chief Roland Twinn
    • Mr. Todd Van Vliet
    • Ms. Linda Wedman
    • Staff Sgt. Randy Wickins
    • Mr. Terry Wickham
    • Ms. Sandra Woitas
    • Grand Chief Marvin Yellowbird
    • Ms. Harriet Younie
    • Staff Sgt. Darren Zimmerman
    • Mrs. Tillie Zyp

Trustee Janz selected as one of Edmonton’s “Top 40 Under 40″

Last week I was honoured by Avenue Edmonton as one of their “Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40″ for 2012.

You can read the full article here:

Thank you to the Avenue Edmonton Team, 3Ten Photo, Cheryl Mahaffy and the anonymous nominators who put my name forward to receive this award.

What will happen after the school closure Moratorium expires?

How do we support public education in mature neighbourhoods? Today, and 20 years from now?

As former Trustee Sue Huff asked on her blog, if the outcome is school closure, is there ever a process that the community will support?

Here is a copy of the administration recommendation that passed unanimously this evening.


That after the Board articulates a set of principles to guide capital and accommodation 

planning, the Administration develop and implement a District infrastructure strategy

that identifies timelines and goals to provide high quality learning opportunities, respond

to community needs, address the deferred maintenance deficit, and right size district

space to efficiently meet short-term and long-term needs. That this recommendation replaces the motions approved on March 13, April 10, and September 11 2012.

This effectively means that no school closure recommendation will be coming forward from the administration in the 2012-2013 school year and instead the district will shift their attention to developing a long-term plan that they can bring back to the board in the new year.

I’ll post more thoughts on this at a later time, but right now I would urge you to check out the moratorium committee reports, the work the board has been doing in this area, and my previous writings on this subject. You can click here or search by tags on the right hand side of the page.

Community Gathering to strategize about schools in mature neighbourhoods:

Are School Trustees Urban Planners? –

To fully examine the work we are doing to try and support schools, and our growing infrastructure pressures,  please take a few minutes and read the research done through our school closure moratorium committee process. To see the information reports on the causes of closures, check out presentations on:

By administration numbers, our infrastructure costs outpace our revenues by $34.4 Million. Those costs are then paid for out of our operational budget (classroom dollars.) In some cases, there are very good reasons to do this (For example, keeping a small school open serving a high-needs population, or maintaining our commitment to choice in an area with limited educational opportunities.)

Plant Operation and Maintenance

Annual revenue $66.0 million & IMR funding $14.5 = Total $80.5 Million

2010/11 audited costs

Custodial $37.9 + Maintenance $25.2 +Utilities $24.3 + IMR 12.3 + Facilities Admin $9.6 + Amortization $5.0 = Total $114.3 Million