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Former students consider legal action over Riverdale High School closure

As their petition to save Riverdale High School continues to pick up steam, several former students are also considering taking their fight to court.

“You can just click on it and watch the numbers keep rolling on it,” said former student Amanda Lovelace. “We’re actually shocked.”

In a week, they have gathered just over 2,000 signatures.

While they have enlisted the help of their local MNA, Monseff Derraji, to take their petition to the National Assembly, Lovelace says they are willing to put forth a legal challenge.

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Riverdale High School transfers to French school board

Starting September, Riverdale High School will be operated by Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board. Aimée Lemieux reports.

Watch interview with QCGN President Geoffrey Chambers

Shutdown of Riverdale destabilizing and ill-advised: QCGN

Montreal – January 28, 2019 – A steady stream of assurances that the government of Quebec Premier François Legault is taking the interests of Quebec’s English-speaking community into account has been contradicted by its actions – this time with the abrupt elimination of Riverdale High School from our English-language school system.

“While the Quebec government talks quite positively and in an often encouraging way about respecting community interests, to all appearances they don’t understand minority-language rights. Or they simply don’t care,” Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, declared following today’s announcement.

The immensely disruptive process to force dispersal of Riverdale’s 450 English-language students across the remainder of the Lester B. Pearson School Board network, before the next school years begins, is clearly improper, Chambers added: “It disregards long-accepted school-shutdown policy, which for good reason requires public consultation as part of a thoughtful, judicious 18-month process.  For the Quebec government to sidestep the rules in its own education act by exercising an extraordinary power (invoking Art. 477.1.1 of La Loi sur l’instruction publique) is dangerously destabilizing and ill-advised.”

“The government is using a hammer here, and we have to wonder where and how they will next grab it,” Chambers said: “Riverdale may mean there will be more pre-emptive exercise of ministerial power, despite all their soft words. It certainly suggests the so-called new service centres to replace school boards will be unable to protect community interests.”

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Transfer of school to French-language network: English-speaking community worried

The Minister of Education’s decision to force the transfer of an English school to the French-language network worries the English-speaking community of West Island, which fears for the respect of its rights guaranteed by the Charter under the Legault government.

“We have the right to have our institutions, rights that are established in the constitution. It seems the minister does not see these rights as important,” says the president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), which represents more than 50 English-language community organizations.

The same goes for the Quebec English School Boards Association. “We may think that this is an affront to our powers to manage and control our schools,” adds its managing director, Russell Copeman.

The Journal revealed Monday that the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, will use a power rarely evoked in the Education Act to require the transfer of the Riverdale High School from the Lester B. Pearson School Board. to the Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board (CSMB). The English-language facility is only used at half capacity, while the CSMB is overflowing with the influx of newcomers to the area.

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English-speaking Community Will Not Abandon Schools Boards, QCGN Advises Premier

Montreal – December 14, 2018 – Quebec’s English-speaking community has absolutely no intention of heeding Premier François Legault’s advice that we abandon any plans to challenge the Coalition Avenir Quebec government’s scheme to abolish school boards and replace them with service centres.

Acknowledging that he and his Education Minister, Jean-François Roberge, have yet to discuss their plan with Quebec’s English-speaking community, the Premier told The Gazette yesterday that he is forging ahead with the controversial reform. Premier Legault dared to forecast that once service centres are in place, our community “will realize they lost nothing.”

“We disagree most emphatically,” the President of the Quebec Community Groups Network, Geoffrey Chambers, stated. “The Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Mahe v. Alberta was crystal clear.  The Court ruled that minority language communities have the right to control and manage the educational facilities in which their children are taught, to both ensure and enable that our language and culture can flourish.”

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English community will fight on for school boards despite Legault’s warning

The English-speaking community has no intention of dropping its battle to protect the existing anglophone school board system.

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) — which includes almost 60 English-language community organizations across Quebec — said in a statement Friday it “has absolutely no intention” of heeding Premier François Legault’s advice to give up because they will lose in court.

“We disagree most emphatically,” QCGN president Geoffrey Chambers said in a statement. “The Supreme Court’s ruling in Mahe versus Alberta was crystal clear.

CAQ putting emphasis on team with election on horizon

“The Coalition Avenir Quebec is meeting in Ste. Adele this week to prepare for the spring session of the National Assembly — but more importantly, to lay the groundwork for this year’s provincial election.”

Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault presented Dr. Lionel Carmant as the potential candidate to be health minister in a CAQ government. Members of the party gathered in Ste. Adèle for a two-day meeting to prepare for the spring session. They also discussed some proposals for the election, such as a plan to abolish school boards which drew a lot of ire from English-language groups.

The QCGN said in a statement that the CAQ displayed little knowledge of the English-speaking community. The Quebec English School Boards Association also reacted to the plan.

Read the article on CTV News website