Kathleen Linder in unique race for Parkland School Division's Ward 3 Trustee post.
Ward 3 of the Parkland School Division, stretching south of Stony Plain and Spruce Grove towards Devon, is in a unique situation this election: two incumbent trustees are seeking one trustee post in re-election campaigns.
One of the candidates seeking re-election is Kathleen Linder, who's been a PSD trustee since 2007 and has been involved with school councils since 1993. With trustee positions being shuffled to reflect the population numbers more accurately, the three rural wards of the PSD all have a single trustee position available in next week's election.
Linder says this doesn't mean issues within Ward 3 will be ignored.
"We are losing that voice, but I think that the voice can still be heard throughout that area," Linder tells One News. "I think one of the big things for that large of a rural area is of course transportation. If we look at that, we have issues all across the division, not only in Ward 3, but also in Ward 1 which is a hugely large, vast area within there."
Transportation is certainly at the forefront for all school trustee candidates, as provincial legislation and new busing routes have caused several parents to speak out on social media as critical voices for not just how transportation is implemented but how it's communicated by the PSD. Linder believes communication can always be improved, but even in this day and age there are roadblocks to getting the message out.
"I think part of the issue with our computer communication is that the parents have to initiate the castle with regards to the anti-spam law," explains Linder. "A lot of people don't realize that they have to allow us, the school division, to contact them."
As for the provincial involvement in transportation changes rolled out as part of Bill 1, Linder believes school boards must abide by provincial law but feels there's room for discussion with the government- particularly when it comes to the 2.4-kilometre transit rule.
"I think that school divisions need to come up with that decision with how that looks for their division and how that looks like with regard to fees because transportation is all over the board," says Linder. "The whole 61 boards all have a different idea as to what that transportation situation should look like."
"Transportation is different with Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or the rural areas."
To hear the full, unedited interview between One News and Parkland School Division Ward 3 Trustee candidate Kathleen Linder, click play on the file below: