Quebec to stop subsidizing illegal Hasidic Jewish schools

QUEBEC CITY – Quebec’s newly elected Education Minister, Yves Bolduc, announced that he will stop government subsidies of illegal Hasidic Jewish schools.

“We have to close them, they are illegal, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“What is important is that the students have to have a very good education, and they must acquire the knowledge that is necessary.”

Bolduc also indicated that he likely won’t force school boards to pay back $100 million to property owners. Last year, school boards hiked school taxes by as much as 30 per cent in some areas.

The Parti Quebecois asked the boards to reiumburse taxpayers, putting the request into a bill.

However, the bill died on the order paper when the election was called last March.

Not such a smooth transition
As the recently elected MNAs settle into their new jobs, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette has discovered that the transition isn’t going as smoothly as he had hoped.

“For someone who is always about ethics and all that, it’s quite surprising to see that she’s done that,” he told reporters.

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The MNA he defeated in La Pinière, Fatima Houda-Pepin, left his riding office completely barren.

READ MORELa Pinière elects Liberal, not independent Houda- Pepin

She destroyed all the local files, stating confidentiality reasons. Former Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois did the same in Charlevoix.

Barrette said constituents waiting for answers to their queries will now have to wait a little longer.

“This should not happen,” said Barrette.

“They will have to start again from scratch because I don’t have the documentation. This is irresponsible in my view for a deputy to leave and not leave that to the successor.”

This was not the only surprise for the incumbent MNAs.

Liberals said the provincial deficit is much deeper than previously anticipated, and tough decisions have to be made.

“We’re in favour of growth and responsibility and we will deliver on both,” said President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux.

READ MOREQuebec Liberals want austerity … and growth

In Transport, Robert Poëti is reviewing Montreal projects like the Train de l’Ouest and preparing to negotiate with the Harper government over tolls on the Champlain Bridge.

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“What I’m going to do is I’ll meet Mr. Lebel next Monday in my office in Montreal so we’re going to talk about all the possibilities,” Poëti said.

The Liberals are discussing ways to save money without suffocating the middle class and discouraging economic growth, a daunting task for any government.

Watch: Transport challenges ahead for new minister

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