Letter: Demise of Big Lake School sparks rage, sadness

Councillors should be held to account

To the Expositor:

It was firstly with extreme sadness, then followed with extreme rage that I felt when I learned of the demise of the Big Lake (SS#2 Sandfield) School House (Big Lake Community Centre) at the hands of a slim majority of Central Manitoulin councillors! 

After all the maximum effort put forth over this past long while to save this beloved and cherished historical site and heritage building, it has been ripped away from its community members by the dreadful actions of four usurper municipal councillors. These four individuals usurped, by means of abuse of political power, an entire community’s focal point and gathering place with total disregard for its heritage and historical importance to the community of Big Lake 

Personally, I have thought long and hard about what further actions can be taken to attempt to save our schoolhouse. Civil protest has always been looked at as an option, but at the end of the day, it is not the way of the majority of Big Lakers. As hard as it is for the Big Lake community to swallow, I would say that the majority would agree—if we are going to lose this heritage building and historical site to the whims of four usurper councillors then let us act to ensure that it is not for nothing! I therefore call on the executive and members of the Big Lake Community Association (BLCA), all former students of SS#2 Sandfield School and the entire community of Big Lake to unite collectively to become staunch advocates of the preservation of historical buildings and heritage sites. Let us lobby both the federal and provincial governments to strengthen legislation to stop future usurpers from using political power, within a municipal government, from removing these buildings and sites from the community members they historically serve! 

For our own situation, I believe that the most respectful thing the Big Lake community could do in regards to this terrible loss would be to acquire the use of a small area of public ground, close to the school, on which to erect a monument, telling the story of the schoolhouse, its demise and the names of the BLCA founders to honour their many years of dedicated service.

At this point in time, I feel the least the Municipality of Central Manitoulin could do would be to bring the particular usurper councillor, who uttered the words, “The Big Lake School House should be sold and the profits from the sale put towards the new rec complex in Mindemoya,” to account for this reprehensible statement and be asked to resign immediately!

#BIGLAKESTRONG

Thank you,

Greg Young

Former Big Lake resident and SS#2 Sandfield student