The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board will operate with only six trustees for the rest of their term after receiving a Ministerial Order from the Ministry of Education.
Education Minister Dustin Duncan has signed off on the school division’s request, the board announced on Monday. That means there will be no by-election to replace former trustee Albert Provost, who retired in February.
“We have asked permission for that to occur just on a temporary basis as we had a recent retirement from one of our board members,” education director Lorel Trumier explained. “Of course, it is required to have a Ministerial Order to do so. It really puts more responsibilities on the board members that are remaining to work through.”
Trumier said the current board decided to proceed without filling Provost’s spot because they were already halfway through their term. She said the board can manage the extra workload that comes with one less trustee.
The order changes the structure of the board. There are now five members-at-large in the Prince Albert subdivision, plus one member from the rural subdivision.
Trumier said the board is entering a transitional phase in the COVID-19 pandemic, and they wanted to maintain some stability.
“In this case, what it means is a little continuity here as we continue to work through and finish the pandemic,” Trumier said. “These are not normal circumstances that the board has been operating under to say the least.
“There has been some really good work happening with the board over this term and they just want to continue that to transition to the next term.”
Trumier said the new Provincial Education Plan also played a role in the board’s decision to keep their current trustee level. She said the board already knows what areas they want to focus on with the province, so the new trustee can step in next term with a fully-developed Education plan in place.
The Ministerial Order allows the board to operate as is from Jan. 24, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2024, however that could be adjusted in the date for the next school board election changes.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald