Cowichan News Leader

Our take: Lake Cowichan needs to face school realities

It sure doesn’t take much for the hype machine to move into overdrive.

Start with a town in recession, stir in a handful of political warriors still smarting about a government whose agenda does not match their own and add a public meeting.

And suddenly, the town of Lake Cowichan is on the verge of being school-less. Except, of course for the fact that it is not.

The issue Lake Cowichan is actually facing is the fact its population of school-age children has dropped considerably from its heyday, echoing a similar drop in schools across the school district, and across the province.

And with that drop has come a corresponding drop in the amount of resources available to operate those schools.

Lake Cowichan citizens could come out to Saturday’s public meeting armed with torches and pitchforks, yelling and screaming and stamping their feet about how it’s all the government’s fault.

Or they can come armed with an understanding of the reality of the situation, a firm grasp of what is most important to them and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and work to achieve their goals.

Lake Cowichan is a proud, independent community with a unique identity. We would be shocked to discover its citizens are anything but united in a desire to have their own high school and own elementary school.

We also are relatively certain the population numbers justify both, particularly when considered in the context of the existing facilities.

However, considering the number of underutilized and unused facilities and properties in the area it is not unreasonable to make changes in these areas in order to make the big picture more viable.

Ignore that reality and you are guilty of falling for the hype — or at least using it as an excuse to keep your head in the sand.

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