There is an important Toronto District School Board (TDSB) meeting on February 10th that will decide the fate of Bannockburn’s Green Space. For those residents living near the Bannockburn School site, this issue is not new as the community has been fighting the sale of the two-acre school playground for years. For others who live in and around Ward 16, this issue has ramifications for you too.
The TDSB is being forced to sell assets by the province, so they can get money to pay for building upgrades. The TDSB approached the City of Toronto to see if we would buy the playground. If not, the TDSB will sell it to private developers. We tried at a city level to see if we could purchase the land ourselves. We cannot come up with the $15 million the TDSB wants because we are also strapped for cash.
I ran for City Council because I was tired of governments saying one thing and doing another. If the province and the TDSB believe in saving green space, encouraging our children to get outdoors and be healthy and that trees and grass contribute to the cleaning of our air system and should therefore be saved, why is the TDSB, forced by the province, proposing to sell off this playground?
Why can’t the board sell off other assets to make up their fiscal shortfall? Why can’t the province, which always talks about saving green space and encouraging healthier children, just instruct the TDSB not to sell this valuable asset? Why do local parents and children have to suffer the loss of their local playground when either level of government could solve this with the stroke of a pen?