Central Okanagan school district trustee boundaries slated for change

Electoral boundaries on the west side of the lake could change for local school district trustees, if approved by the Minister of Education.

  • Mar. 5, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Electoral boundaries on the west side of the lake could change for local school district trustees, if approved by the Minister of Education.

An open house will be held March 8 at 7 p.m. at Mount Boucherie Secondary School so that people can have their input into the proposed boundary change.

Trustee Moyra Baxter said the discussions have been going on for years.

The district’s board of education cannot change the boundaries itself, that power lies with the Ministry of Education.

Baxter noted the proposal is for two school trustees on the Westside, one covering the District of West Kelowna and another covering Peachland, the Westbank First Nation’s reserves 9 and 10 and properties within the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

The school board is still looking for the views of the Westbank First Nation, Okanagan Indian Band and other municipalities that did not respond during the first efforts at consultation.

Baxter said currently Peachland has a trustee of its own and there is just one other trustee to represent the rest of the Westside.

“As the Westside has grown, this has obviously become inequitable,” said Baxter

Baxter noted she and Westside trustee Jeff Watson currently divide the responsibilities for liaising with schools on the western side of Okanagan Lake.

The change in electoral boundaries would only formalize this arrangement, she added.

Watson could not be reached for comment.

Baxter said the board has written to the other parties involved, including the Okanagan Indian Band which has territory in Lake Country, the Westbank First Nation and the City of Kelowna.

The school district needs to show the Ministry of Education that it has consulted with all parties involved.

Baxter said the district would like to make sure everything is in place by June in order for the boundaries to be changed before the next school district elections, which are scheduled for this November.

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