December 15, 2018 2:40 pm
Updated: December 15, 2018 2:41 pm

‘Let’s be clear’: Quebec education minister says school boards will be abolished

Education minister Jean-François Roberge in question period in Quebec's National Assembly Friday, December 7, 2018.

Quebec National Assembly
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Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge took to social media Saturday morning to to reiterate the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government’s position when it comes to abolishing school boards.

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The Facebook post comes one day after Roberge met with representatives of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) and its French counterpart, the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec (FCSQ), to discuss school board reforms.

READ MORE: Quebec Anglo community ready to fight to keep school boards

On Friday, QESBA president, Dan Lamoureux told Global News he felt the meeting went well and the government was open to discussions, but that optimism could be short-lived.

Roberge said that while it was a pleasure to meet with the FSCQ and the QESBA, the government was not going to compromise.

“Let’s be clear: the Quebec government will turn school boards into service centres and will abolish school elections,” he said.

“We’re open to comments, but we will not deviate from this plan.”

Roberge contends the move is necessary.

“It is imperative to bring decision-making closer to those who know the students by name,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec Liberals say education minister ‘doesn’t have a clue’ about English school system

However, not everyone agrees that getting rid of school boards and school elections is the way to meet community needs.

“Government-appointed boards, in regard to school management and anything else, are going to respond to government priorities and school boards respond to community priorities,” said Geoffrey Chambers, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a not-for-profit organization representing English-speaking community organizations.

WATCHQCGN ready to fight government to preserve school boards

Lamoureux said the QESBA will be meeting with the minister again in the new year.

The CAQ government has yet to table its school board reform bill, but the QCGN is ready to takes its battle all the way to the Supreme Court, to help preserve English-speaking school boards in the province.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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