Minister of Education

Minister of Education

Minister of Education makes visit to Prince Rupert

Last week George Abbott, the Minister of Education, was traveling around the north coast as part of a three-day tour of schools in Prince Rupert and in Haida Gwaii. On Tuesday, September 20, Abbott was in Prince Rupert meeting with members of the local administration and teachers, as well as touring schools including Conrad Elementary, Roosevelt Park Community, Prince Rupert Middle School and Charles Hays Secondary School.

Last week George Abbott, the Minister of Education, was traveling around the north coast as part of a three-day tour of schools in Prince Rupert and in Haida Gwaii. On Tuesday, September 20, Abbott was in Prince Rupert meeting with members of the local administration and teachers, as well as touring schools including Conrad Elementary, Roosevelt Park Community, Prince Rupert Middle School and Charles Hays Secondary School.

“I’m very impressed with the exceptional work that’s being undertaken by the administration, the teachers, and the support staff here. It feels to me that there’s a very good, collegial, collaborative culture here in the school district, and that’s attributed to all of the parties that maintain that kind of relationship.” Abbott commented, adding, “I’ve always loved Prince Rupert, this is about my sixth visit to the community. I’ve always enjoyed my time here.”

During Abbott’s tour around Prince Rupert Middle School, the inevitable question of when the building would be replaced was mentioned a few times. PRMS, which was previously Prince Rupert Secondary School, was built in 1960 and has experienced a number of issues with the structure over the years. The Prince Rupert Northern View later sat down with the Minister to discuss the possibility of a new building to replace PRMS.

“We ask school districts to make a decision themselves about where they think each school should rank in terms of priority in the district. I do believe the replacement of PRMS is pretty high for the school district and has been for quite some time. [The Ministry of Education] takes those higher priorities and weigh them against schools requiring remediation in fifty-nine other districts, as well as schools requiring investment for growth in other districts. When it hits the top of the pile is dependent on the facilities index, the urgency of remediation,” said Abbott, mentioning how the building envelope-project at Charles Hays Secondary School moved up the list very quickly.

“Whether that will happen to PRMS or not, is difficult to predict.” He said.

Abbott then went into further detail on the subject explaining that when the Ministry of Education is looking at how it will give out funding to schools, there are three different things they consider. The first being how quickly enrollment is increasing, some districts such as Surrey and Langley increase by a couple hundred students every year, while enrollment numbers in Prince Rupert have gone from 2,421 students in September of 2009 to 2,245 students at the end of last school year.

The second aspect the Ministry looks at is where schools are placed by the facilities index.

“We look at the physical condition of a school and based on engineering and construction standards and give it a score. Prince Rupert Middle School is an example of an older school that is having some issues. It’s certainly sound right now, but it is an older school that will require replacement at some point.” Explained Abbott, adding, “The third thing we look at is seismic. Does the school in the long term, or short-term requirement a seismic upgrade? And if a seismic upgrade is going to be done we have to consider the cost of the upgrade in comparison to the cost of building a completely new school and see what makes the most sense.”

Additionally, during his visit Abbott mentioned how satisfied he is with teachers efforts and hopes that the district continues to keep focusing on building foundation skills in reading, writing and numeracy for kindergarten to grade four students.

Abbott also talked about ongoing labour negotiations with teachers in the province, saying that financially it was a bad time, and an unpleasant experience for everyone involved.

Abbott was appointed Minister of Education in March of 2011, and previously was the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Community, Minister of Health, Minister of Sustainable Resource Management and Aboriginal and Women’s Services.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Most Read