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We have heard a lot of anger and frustration over local schools being closed. I understand the lost history when a school closes, but they are operating at far from full capacity. Schools are closing in many towns across the province. It's been happening for years. Students in northern Ontario have lost their local schools and have to bus more than an hour to get to the new amalgamated school.

But is the amalgamation of half empty schools really the issue? Should we not be talking about how to attract enough young families to fill our schools?

Real growth is no longer the result of typically large families. People are choosing to have fewer children than a generation ago. We need to attract people to our area.

We encourage our kids to go away to school and to strive for the best careers to earn a good living. We need to encourage them to come home, to start a business and to take risks. It's not an easy path. Maybe they will fail the first time, but maybe they will succeed and create a thriving business in our wonderful town.

That new business will need employees. Jobs will be created. More people will be needed to fill them. With the funding of the SWIFT ultra-high speed internet project, new tech and creative industry opportunities will grow.

The way to grow our community is to have young people move back and start their families with ‎support from the rest of us. Let's restart the school discussion in our community and focus that passion on growth. This is something we can work on together for real benefit!

Meghan Lipka

Owen Sound


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