by Phil Birchard
The story of Collingwood’s private school stimulus grant has gone national.
The story was highlighted on a weekend edition of The National, featuring the Pretty River Academy and the people who think the private school shouldn’t have received a half-million dollar grant to refurbish its soccer fields.
The man who started an online petition protesting the grant, Lorne Kenney, says taxpayer money should be going to things that are collectively owned by the taxpayers through the municipal, provincial, or federal government, or a community oriented organization like the YMCA.
But Kenney says a private school doesn’t fit into either category.
Kenney puts some blame on Simcoe Grey MP Helena Guergis, who he says was the last line of defence for taxpayers.
He says it was irresponsible of Guergis to take political credit for the money going to Pretty River Academy, and he hasn’t heard anything from her yet either.
Kenny says there are more than 600 names on the petition against the funding so far, and says Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson has asked question in the Provincial Legislature about why a private school qualified for grants.
He says Collingwood is negotiating a public use agreement for the fields with the school, and they will be there when the issue comes before council.