A crowd about 400 strong filled the Seaway District High School gymnasium last week for the accommodation review public meeting to hear public presentations outlining why local schools, including Morrisburg and Iroquois Public Schools and Seaway District High School need to be spared from closure.
Nine delegations presented to the audience that was filled with school supporters, community supporters, board superintendents, area school principals and a handful of Upper Canada District School Board trustees.
The most heavy-hitting presentation came from David Ross, CEO of Ross Video.
Ross who is a graduate of Iroquois Public School and Seaway District High School, runs the company founded by his father that holds many prestigious awards for its technical achievements including a Gemini and an Emmy. Ross Video was founded in Iroquois more than 40 years ago and has continued to grow year after year and is now one of this area’s biggest employers, paying out about $15 million a year to employees in this region.
“This year we will pump more than $200 million worth of product right out of that factory,” he said pointing towards the building located adjacent to the school’s neighbouring shopping plaza.
He is considering a 40,000 square foot facility expansion as soon as next year, but worries that if the school closes there may not be enough employees in the region to justify the expansion here in this area. He also mentioned that 70 per cent of its product is exported to the United States, and that they regularly receive offers from across the border to set up shop there.
Ross called the Ontario government’s education policy warped.