Wall-to-wall opposition to school board reform

QUEBEC —  Freshly back from fighting a flu-like virus, Education Minister Pierre Moreau found himself Tuesday fending off attacks from all sides, as he launched public hearings into his government’s proposed school board reform.

Bill 86 aims to eliminate province-wide school board elections and replace elected councils of commissioners, which currently oversee school board operations, with school councils made up of six parents, one teacher, one non-teaching staff, two principals, and six community members. Each school board’s director-general would also sit on the council, as a non-voting member. The goal, Moreau said, is to give parents and teachers greater control over their schools… Read more

Trailblazer, bridge-builder, Victor Goldbloom dies at age 92

The doctor, MNA, and former commissioner of Official Languages, Victor Goldbloom, has died of a heart attack.

Goldbloom was born in Montreal in 1923 and followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a pediatrician in the 1940s.

He worked in New York at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre before returning to Canada and joining politics in the 1960s. Read More

English-speaking communities want bigger voice at Bill 86 hearings

The Quebec government should open its upcoming hearings into school board reform to include as many voices as possible, said the head of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

“I think it’s always important to hear as many people who might have a good idea, an evidence-based idea, on what should be happening,” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge of the QCGN, which links more than 45 English-speaking community organizations across the province… Read more

More English voices need to be heard at Bill 86 hearings, says QCGN

MONTREAL – Committee hearings examining Bill 86, the proposed law designed to do away with school board elections, get underway at the National Assembly in Quebec City on Jan. 28.

While the committee has agreed to hear from two school boards it initially excluded, the English-speaking community said it’s still not enough… Read more

EMSB applauds decision to be included in Bill 86 hearings

MONTREAL – The English Montreal School Board, the largest English board in the province, announced Friday that it was pleased with the decision to be included in the parliamentary hearings surrounding Bill 86.

The bill aims to modify the organization and governance of school boards in the province by granting more control to parents. Earlier in the week, the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), called for the Minister of Education, to step down over his handling of bill 86… Read more and watch video

PQ leader vows to fight for Anglos to be heard on Bill 86

Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau spoke out Thursday against the government’s handling of Bill 86, the proposed legislation that would abolish school board elections in the hopes of giving parents more control. Global’s Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports… Read more and watch the videos

PQ goes to bat for Anglophone school boards

The Liberal government cozies up to anglophones when it needs their votes, but the rest of the time is ready to trample all over their rights, Pierre Karl Péladeau says.

Switching to English at a news conference on Thursday, the Parti Québécois leader said he was “completely flabbergasted” to learn the Couillard government is refusing to hear what two of the province’s largest school boards, including English Montreal, have to say about its proposed school board reforms… Read more

EMSB gets set to fight Quebec’s Bill 86

Based upon what was said at last week’s special information session, the EMSB is getting set to lead the fight against the Couillard administration’s Education Minister in order to preserve and protect Quebec’s English-speaking communities and their rights to maintain and manage their own school boards. Aside from EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini, former federal Liberal MP Marlene Jennings shared the speaker’s table with Montreal lawyer Michael Bergman and Sylvia Martin-Laforge — the QCGN’s executive director — as they all condemned the new bill as an assault upon the province’s English-speaking communities and their right (as defined in the Canadian charter) to an English education…Read more

Quebec English community leaders rally against school board reforms

People representing English-language communities across Quebec met in Montreal Wednesday to denounce proposed legislation to abolish school board elections and overhaul the way schools are run.

At issue, they said, is the constitutional right of Quebec’s English minority to control and manage its schools.

“The right to school governance is fundamental,” said the former federal commissioner of official languages, Victor Goldbloom, referring to Section 23 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms… Read more

Anglo rights groups denounce end of school board elections

Anglophone rights groups say if they have to, they’ll take the provincial government to court over its plan to alter school boards and end community elections.

They argue it will end the constitutionally guaranteed right of minority groups to control education.

Education Minister Francois Blais introduced legislation earlier this month to drastically change how the officials on school boards are chosen.

When he tabled his bill, Blais said the Liberal government believed its new structure maintained the right of the minority to control its schools… Read more