May 17, 2019 11:27 am
Updated: May 17, 2019 8:17 pm

Montreal students, parents hold rally in east end to save EMSB schools

A total of three schools under the English Montreal School Board are set to be transferred to a French-language school board.

Brayden Jagger Haines/Global News

A rally aiming to prevent the Quebec government from giving three English Montreal schools to a French-language school board is underway in front of the Saint-Leonard borough hall on Friday evening.

READ MORE: Parents, students form human chains around English schools set to be given to French school board

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Gerald McShane Elementary, General Vanier Elementary and John Paul I Junior High School of the English Montreal School Board are expected to be transferred to the overcrowded Pointe-de-l’Île School Board.

“It’s not fair that I might not be going back to my school next year,” said Bailey Fortin, who attends Gerald McShane.

READ MORE: Montreal parents frustrated over planned shift of 3 English-language schools

While several other possible solutions are being thrown around, including merging some of the French students at Galileo Adult Education Centre, but both the province and officials with the special needs school oppose the idea.

Another plan considers “trading” the Lester B. Pearson High School building with Jean-Grou Secondary School, which could net about 1,000 seats for the French-language school board — a third of the 3,000 spots needed by Pointe-de-l’Île.

If the two school boards cannot come to an agreement, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge says he intends to use a section of the Education Act that allows him to force a transfer deemed to be in the public interest.

“If we don’t take any action, 3,000 students will not have a class come September,” he said. “As minister, I have the duty to take action. The status quo is not an option.”

READ MORE: EMSB must give up 3 schools unless it comes up with new plan, education minister says

The school boards have until June 10 to submit an alternative proposal.

WATCH: EMSB must transfer 3 schools to French board

— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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