Brampton, Sept 25, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
Regional Councillor Gurpreet Singh Dhillon announced he will be forced to cancel his popular youth basketball drop-in program due to the excessive increase in gym rental prices imposed by the Peel District School Board (PDSB). The PDSB has indicated the increase is a result of recent educational cuts made by the provincial government.
Since 2015, Councillor Dhillon had hosted a free-of-charge weekly basketball program for under privileged youth, and was paid personally by him. However due to cuts by the provincial government to school boards, rental fees increased to approximately $16,000 from $4,000.
“It is an unfortunate situation for the kids. I ran this program for 5 years and paid from my own pocket, however the costs have become too much,” said Councillor Dhillon. “The program was a great way to connect to youth, and provide them a free, safe place to play away from drugs and gangs, while learning about leadership, fair play and sportsmanship.”
Councillor Dhillon thanked the PDSB for their support for his program thus far, however was understanding of their financial situation due to the cuts, and is encouraging interested youth to check the City of Brampton’s website to find out more information on where they can participate in the city’s drop-in sports programs.
The PDSB provided the following explanation for the increase:
“For many years, the Peel District School Board has provided permits for the community use of schools at a reduced rate by subsidizing operational and labour costs required for the permit.
Due to reduced Ministry funding for the 2019-20 school year and annual increases in labour and operational costs, the Peel board is no longer able to subsidize permit fees and have made the difficult decision to increase fees to cover the costs associated with the permit.
The Peel board is not profiting from these community permits. This increase is necessary to recover costs so that they can continue to provide programming to support student success and well-being in Peel schools.