A debate on the Quebec government’s plan to abolish school boards took place Friday at the National Assembly and parts of it were in English.
Jacques Cartier Liberal MNA Greg Kelley asked his first question in question period Friday morning.
He accused the education minister of a lack of knowledge when it comes to the constitutional protection of school boards in Quebec, asking if the justice minister could explain it to him.
“It seems that our minister of education overnight has become a constitutional scholar. He has also stated recently in interviews that the constitution does not contain the words ‘school boards’ and thus is not protected by the Charter of Rights and freedoms, an answer that I’m sure has left his colleague, the minister of justice perplexed,” Kelley said in English before switching to French.
Pierre Arcand, the interim leader for the Quebec Liberals, also chimed in.
“Very honestly, I think Mr. Roberge doesn’t have a clue about what’s happening in the English sector,” said Arcand.
Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has said that English communities in Quebec will have “full control” over their schools through service centres.
In response to Kelley’s question, Roberge said in English, “We will protect the rights of the anglophone minority.”
In French, he added that he does not want to deprive the English school system of the improvements he intends to make to its governance.
Roberge also said he will meet with English school boards within the week.