School boards across the province have received direction from Nancy Naylor, deputy minister of education, to exercise prudence in making hiring decisions in light of the upcoming Ontario budget.

Keewatin Patricia District School Board Director of Education Sean Monteith said the direction isn’t a surprise.

“Our approach to staffing for next year is not going to be changed, as it pertains to classroom and school bases staffing. We had been communicated that we should expect a certain percentage in terms of a reduction in overall funding. I think every board is preparing for that,” he said.

He said he believes the direction is aimed more towards the creation of new positions.

“My interpretation of the memo is that the creation of new positions, from funding envelopes that may not be continued, is probably not the best way to go forward. In terms of normal staffing practises, that’s what we’re going to do, we’re in the middle of it right now, that’s not going to change,” he said.

Derek Haime, Director of Education for the Kenora Catholic District School Board, said the prudence suggested by the deputy minister is already common practise for the board.

“At Kenora Catholic it’s always our practise to be prudent whenever we’re spending the public dollar in the best interests of our students. But we always do take the conservative approach to budgeting and planning,” he said.

The deputy minister said boards can expect an update on or before March 15, and Haime is looking forward to it.

“We do anticipate more information to be released sometime in March, and as more information becomes available from the ministry Kenora Catholic will be planning our budget and our hiring accordingly,” he said.

Monteith said it’s also important to pay attention to what the memo doesn’t say.

“School boards and other public sector agencies probably should prepare for some restraint in terms of hiring. I don’t think it would be prudent for anyone to go out and hire a bunch of new staff, and I don’t think anyone would do that anyways. When you hire people in a business like us, that deals with kids and in support of children, you’re talking generally speaking resources and staff. If you don’t have the needs of the kids you don’t need the staff,”

He added that staffing for the education sector is an intensive process.

“It’s a prolonged process that takes a couple of months, ultimately culminating with the submission of a budget at the end of June. That process won’t change, what will change is the amount of money that we have to work with,” he said.

More Local News

Pothole season is here

Spring is in the air, and with the shift from winter snow plowing to snow melting, conditions are perfect for potholes to form. Moisture seeps into the pavement and sub-base, freezes, expands and…

Main st in Kenora open

Main Street in Kenora has opened to vehicles and pedestrians. The CIBC building, demolition site, and Bargin shop remain blocked off by police, as they continue to investigate the cause of Sunday's…

City approves 2019 budget

Kenora city concil officially passed their budget for 2019. “This budget was a particularly difficult one for council," said Mayor Dan Reynard. From the city's perspective, the 3.55 per cent increase…

Suspect apprehended

Police have apprehended a man, following a hold and secure at Kenora schools this afternoon. At around 2:10 p.m. members of the Kenora OPP detachment responded to an incident in the north side of the…

Hold and secure in Kenora

A hold and secure was been put in place for students in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, as well as the Kenora Catholic District School Board. Senior staff from both school boards are…

CIBC branch manager provides update for customers

CIBC Branch manager Jackie Hailstone said Sunday's fire on Main St didn't impact the inside of the building too badly. "The inside is actually not too bad. We have more concerns around the outside of…

Main street clean up joint effort

No word yet on when Main St in Kenora will reopen to vehicular traffic. The clean up of the street is a joint effort between the Kenora Fire & Emergency Services Department, Kenora OPP and City of…

Kenora mayor proud of how the community stepped up

Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard said it's always difficult when tragic events happen in the community, such as Sunday's fatal fire in downtown Kenora. "Such a tragedy anytime we see, or feel, a loss of life…

Kiiwetinoong member lobbies for at-risk youth

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa is lobbying for more help in the Far North, when it comes to children in care. At Queen's Park, he again questioned the government's cancellation of the child…

Tragedy and Heroes

Kenora fire chief Todd Skene is still working with investigators and business owners, after yesterday's fire on Main Street. "On behalf of the city, our thoughts are with the person, who passed away,… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.