June 28, 2019 9:48 pm

CSPI mandated to consider cohabitation solutions provided by EMSB: minister

WATCH: Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge​ explains his decision to transfer two schools from the EMSB to the overcrowded French system​.

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Quebec’s education minister Jean-Francois Roberge says he has mandated the Pointe-de-l’île board (CSPI) to continue negotiations with the EMSB in order to find more space for the French board.

Roberge said that along with the transfer approval of John Paul I Highschool and General Vanier Elementary, the government sent a letter to the CSPI regarding negotiations. “A directive to the CSPI to still negotiate and to accept some cohabitation solutions,” the minister said.

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READ MORE: English Montreal School Board votes to launch Major School Change consultation

Roberge told Global News that the CSPI must consider cohabitation options proposed by the EMSB as the transfer of the two schools doesn’t solve the French board’s need for space.

“They need 3,000 places. With the transferring of two schools, we’re making space for 1,000 kids,” Roberge said. “We didn’t transfer enough schools to resolve the problem, so CSPI and EMSB should continue to negotiate and find some solutions.”

READ MORE: Quebec education minister has made a decision on school transfers but won’t reveal plan

The EMSB is in the midst of a Major School Change consultation.

The process will look into what schools to consolidate and which ones they can close in order to identify buildings they can hand over to the Pointe-de-l’île board (CSPI).

WATCH: Reaction was swift when Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge finally announced which EMSB schools would be transferred.

Will there be more school transfers?

Roberge said he doesn’t believe he will be transferring more schools from the EMSB to the French system, but gave no guarantees.

“I think we won’t have to do so. It’s really an exceptional decision; it’s a tough decision. It’s a decision that we will have to justify, to explain. There’s no fun here for nobody so we think we won’t have to take those decisions again and again,” the minister said.

READ MORE: English Montreal School Board won’t rule out legal action amid forced school transfers

Roberge added he felt for the parents and children of schools that are being transferred.

“I can understand them as a father, but seeing the big picture, I still think it was the decision to make,” he said.

Roberge says the government will give the EMSB $3.5 million in order for the board to pay for the moving fees and invest in the school’s needs.

WATCH: (June 21, 2019) Montreal police called to EMSB meeting

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

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