Opinion: Bill 86 on school governance infringes on English community rights

This is an edited excerpt of a brief the Quebec Community Groups Network presented Thursday to a National Assembly committee studying Bill 86:

On Dec. 4, 2015, the government of Quebec introduced Bill 86: “An Act to modify the organization and governance of school boards to give schools a greater say in decision-making and ensure parents’ presence within each school board’s decision-making body.” Its purpose is administrative. It makes no claim either to directly improve the scholastic performance of Quebec’s students or improve or maintain existing educational services. Rather, put simply, Bill 86 seeks to increase the executive authority of the education minister… Read  more

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Concordia welcomes Quebec’s young leaders

“Next year is the 150th anniversary of Confederation. What does being Canadian mean to Quebec’s young people? How do they see their country’s role in the world? In their view, what are the most important social and enviromental issues facing Canada?”

To encourage young people in the province to get engaged and have their say, the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) — in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies and the Institut du Nouveau Monde — came up with an ambitious three-year project, leading up to next year’s sesquicentennial celebration of the birth of Canada.

Read the article on Concordia University’s website

Philippe Couillard announces emergency cabinet shuffle; addresses Moreau’s health

MONTREAL – For the fourth time in less than two years, Quebec has appointed a new education minister.

In an emergency cabinet shuffle Monday evening, Premier Philippe Couillard addressed Pierre Moreau’s health.

“He will need to go undergo serious treatments over the coming weeks…for many months probably,” he said. Read more

Discussing educational reform

QCGN Director Sylvia Martin-Laforge discusses the provincial government’s educational reform with CTV Montreal’s Mutsumi Takahashi. Watch video

Remembering Dr. Victor Goldbloom

The late Dr. Victor Goldbloom was someone who could rightly be called a great Montrealer. Sylvia Martin Laforge speaks to Camille Ross about his career and what it meant to society. Watch the video

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