Vancouver Island Health Authority Projects over 30% increase for Qualicum School District by 2030
Why does Superintendent Koop's forecast show 0% increase in the number of persons of school age
by William Warren Munroe, revised with chart March 25

Last year, Paul Hasselback, MD, MSC, FRCPC, Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Island Health Authority made a presentation at the Town of Qualicum Beach Council meeting showing profiles for the Qualicum Local Health Area, which is the same as the Qualicum School District. Dr. Hasselback's presentation included a chart showing a 31% increase in population by the year 2030 - from approximately 46,500 to 61,000 an increase of 14,400 people.1

Figure 1. Qualicum LHA, and SD Population Forecast Presented by Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Paul Hasselback, MD

On the other hand, Rollie Koop, Superintendent of the Qualicum School District presented a 0% increase in persons of school age to 2027. Since the number of school age children is positively correlated to the number of adults - the number of children rises and falls with the number of adults - Mr. Koop's forecast appears to assume that parents and children (families) will not contribute to the increase of ~14,400 people put forward by Dr. Hasselback. Unfortunately, Mr. Koop will not provide the assumptions underlying the numbers he is using to justify closing four public schools.

According to Statistics Canada's Census of Population since 1996, the QSD/QLHA is attractive to adults and children (people of family age) - more move in than out.

As mentioned at public presentations and in articles, the fluctating age distribution creates challenges for communities.

Perhaps the Health Authority and the Superintendent of schools could provide a set of well defined projection scenarios open and available to the public and that have been peer reviewed.

Make sure that the methods and data are clearly presented otherwise, don't use the 'unfounded' numbers; instead, use well defined scenarios such as those described in the Population Projection Project.

Endnotes and Sources:

1 This chart, presented in March 2013, was created by the people working at BC Statistics in 2011; therefore, it does not include the 2011 census results as these were released in 2012.

2 Qualicum School District "Facility Review Process" November 2013 at

See SCHOOL OPENING AND CLOSURE ORDER, BC Ministry of Education, Governance and Legislation Branch E-95 October 15, 2009, Authority: School Act, section 73 and 168 (2)(p)

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