Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge reiterated Tuesday that there is “no room for interpretation” when it comes to the government’s plan to abolish school boards.
“I think our plan is pretty clear. We want to transform school boards into service centres for schools,” he said.
“We want to emphasize all the decisions that are being taken by the governing board of each school and we want to abolish the election for trustees. It’s pretty clear.”
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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 last Friday.
The next day, he took to social media to insist the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) was not going to compromise its position.
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“We are open-minded to improve our program, but even after hearing about those concerns, we will transform school boards into service centres and abolish elections,” Roberge said.
“Everything is going to be alright, just like the song,” he added, laughing.
The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), a non-profit representing English-speaking community organizations, argues that getting rid of school boards and elections will inhibit the needs of the community.
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QCGN representatives say they are ready to battle all the way to the Supreme Court if need be.
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Roberge argues anglophones have nothing to worry about.
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“It’s not a negotiation. It’s a discussion, and we will write the law so it respects the Constitution,” he said.
“If they go for a battle in court, of course, they will lose. I think it will be a waste of time and money and I expect them to discuss [their concerns] with us and find a solution for everybody.”
Roberge said the government has until Nov. 1, 2020, to implement the program.