August 21, 2019 12:24 pm
Updated: August 21, 2019 1:19 pm

Education minister won’t reimburse Quebecers for New Yorkers’ trip to testify about 4-year-old kindergarten

A kindergarten student looks at a laptop.


Two New Yorkers who travelled on an all-expenses-paid trip to Quebec City to testify in favour of four-year-old kindergarten at a parliamentary committee rendered “a service to the nation of Quebec,” declared Education Minister Jean-François Roberge Wednesday.

READ MORE: Roberge says ‘many’ children in 4-year-old kindergarten were not enrolled in daycare

The minister said the $4,825 expense was justified spending to cover the travel, accommodation and food expenses of Carlyn A. Rahynes and Rafael Alvarez.

The two are responsible for implementing a universal four-year-old pre-kindergarten network in New York. They testified on June 5 in favour of the minister’s Bill 5.

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Normally, groups travelling to Quebec City to present a dissertation are expected to cover their own expenses.

READ MORE: Quebec education minister heads to New York to learn about 4-year-old kindergarten

Wednesday, opposition parties at the national assembly joined forces to denounce the situation.

WATCH BELOW: What are the advantages of starting kindergarten at the age of four?

They argue it is unacceptable to use public funds to reimburse the expenses of allies — but refuse to do so for all other groups.

Roberge’s reply: that the two New Yorkers rendered “a service to the nation of Quebec.”

READ MORE: Quebec re-invests in daycare and kindergarten

He is refusing to reimburse Quebec taxpayers, saying they will get “a return on their exceptional investment.”

WATCH BELOW: Quebec subsidized daycares, a model to emulate?

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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