July 15, 2014 4:03 pm
Updated: July 15, 2014 7:29 pm

French school board president asks anglophones in Repentigny to “have a heart”


REPENTIGNY – On Monday evening, all heck broke loose at Repentigny City Hall.

At a city council meeting, anglophone parents made it loud and clear to Mayor Chantal Deschamps they are against a decision to allow the construction of a new French school right next to their English one.

The proposed project would rob Franklin-Hill Elementary of precious green space currently used by the anglophone students.

READ MORE: English elementary school at center of controversy in Repentigny

“We’re not giving up, we’re going to keep on fighting,” parent Anne Chamandy told Global News.

On Tuesday, a new voice entered the heated debate.

Rene Labrie wants frustrated parents to reconsider the plan.

Domenic Fazioli/Global News

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Rene Labrie, the president of the Des Affluents School Board who is pushing for the construction of the French school, says he wants frustrated parents to reconsider the plan.

“I think it’s a cry from the heart, we’re trying to say everybody deserves a school,” Labrie told Global News.

“I’m appealing to their sense of collaboration, I’m appealing to them to say if it was the reverse, would you be willing to listen?”

Labrie says the francophone community in the Repentigny area desperately needs a new school.

The perfect location, he adds, is on the green space next to the Franklin-Hill.

“You hold the key to the problem,” Labrie says.

“Alternate locations for the the school are not viable.”

WATCH: Repentigny parents fight for school green space

If the plan is turned down, Labrie says older schools in Repentigny, including Ecole EntrAmis, would have to be expanded and renovated.

“That’s not the scenario we prefer,” he says.

Education Minister Yves Bolduc has been asked to intervene in the case.

He’s expected to hand down a decision to settle the dispute in the coming weeks.


© 2014 Shaw Media

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