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Pacheedaht requests $24M for new school so students can skip lengthy commute


A remote community on southwest Vancouver Island has requested funding for a new school, so students can avoid a treacherous commute.

On Tuesday, Pacheedaht First Nation asked Infrastructure Canada for $24 million to build a school for students in Grades 6 to 12.

Kids from Pacheedaht and Port Renfrew bus 75 kilometres to Sooke every morning to get to the nearest middle or high school.

“It's very hard if you miss a day because you do fall behind on your education,” Pacheedaht Chief Jeff Jones told CTV News in a recent interview.

The Sooke School District wrote to the feds, urging Ottawa to fund the project.

“A three-hour daily commute for 12-to-18-year-old students is unacceptable,” board of education chair Ravi Parmar wrote.

“We can work together to offer a tomorrow that brings [Pacheedaht First Nation] in line with what most Canadian students already have today: a safe and accessible school in their community.”

The MP for the region, Alistair MacGregor, is throwing his support behind the proposal.

“My office is reaching out to the government,” MacGregor said in a statement.

“It’s time for the federal government to listen to Pacheedaht, and to fast-track this badly needed school.”

Pacheedaht expects to hear if its proposal is approved by mid-May. Top Stories

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