Robert Hornsey, owner of the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts, is running for SD42 school board trustee. (Contributed)

Former Green party candidate running for Maple Ridge school board

Robert Hornsey wants to see more inclusivity and funding in the school district.

A former federal Green party candidate is running for school board trustee in Maple Ridge.

Robert Hornsey ran for the Green party of Canada in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in 2006 and the Green party of B.C. in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in 2009. He also owns Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which he started with his late wife, Judith Bergthorsen.

Hornsey has filed his nomination papers for the Oct. 20 election and refers to the acronym SIP when discussing his platform: ‘S’ stands for a safe place to come together and learn; ‘I’ stands for a place that inspires a desire to learn; and ‘P’ stands for a place that prepares for success.

“I’d like to see work done to ensure our curriculum is inclusive of our multicultural society that Canada is really built around,” said Hornsey.

Hornsey is campaigning on the premise that social, economic and environmental concerns are of equal importance and commitment. He said he has held senior responsibilities in all three of these areas.

Hornsey has two priorities when it comes to the school district. First, he wants to ensure school’s receive appropriate funding.

“One of the things I’d be good at is lobbying with the provincial government about funding going forward. This is a rapidly changing school district, so we want to make sure we’re adequately funded going forward.”

Hornsey said since 2019 is a contract year in the school district, he predicts many things will arise, such as staffing and funding concerns.

Secondly, Hornsey wants to focus on inclusivity.

“We need to be sure we’re an inclusive district. Special needs kids, First Nations curriculum and new Canadians need to be included so we have a school district that works with everyone.”

Hornsey said he is involved in First Nations efforts to preserve wild salmon and traditional heritage actions.

In order to get more resources for students within the district, Hornsey said he’s interested in exploring the idea of using school facilities as hub centres.

As a Maple Ridge resident of 25 years, Hornsey believes the school district needs to become a more inclusive environment to match the growing and changing community.

He is trained as a childcare worker and family counsellor, was a business manager of the Inuit.

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