English School Boards want Quebec’s education minister out

  • If English school boards get their say, they hope to have a new education minister and a new bill that doesn't undermine English rights.
WATCH ABOVE: The Quebec English School Boards Association is facing off against Education Minister François Blais. They want him to step down, they claim he doesn't understand how the elementary and secondary education system works in Quebec. Global's Anne Leclair reports.

MONTREAL – Quebec’s English School Boards Association is calling for the resignation of the education minister. For now it seems François Blais has no plans to step down but he is attempting to reassure Quebec’s English-speaking community that the reform will respect minority rights.

“Some people resist to change, it’s normal,” said François Blais, “it’s my responsibility to assure the anglophone community about the real capacity to control their schools.”

But the province’s 9 English school boards want him out, all because of his behaviour over bill 86.

“This current education minister is very disconnected,” said Jennifer Maccarone.

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The president of Quebec’s English School Boards Associations also added, “he hasn’t listened to the community, he hasn’t taken any of our recommendations into consideration!”

The school boards worry about the long term effects of the proposed bill on the English-speaking community. Specifically, they condemn the lack of consultation for the proposed education reform and they fear that wiping out elections will lead to taxation without representation.

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“Bill 86 is a dog’s breakfast which only a bureaucrat could invent,” said Michael Bergman, the lawyer spear-heading the fight against the government.

“I believe on a constitutional basis, on a legal basis this bill should be withdrawn.”

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Bill 86 as it stands is expected to become law on July 1st of this year.

But if English school boards get their say, they hope to have a new education minister and a new bill that doesn’t undermine English rights.

“That’s what we want” insisted Maccarone. “We want somebody who is going to work with our community we want somebody who’s going to listen!”