Quebec delays school board elections, citing coronavirus concerns

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Quebec Premier François Legault said English School board elections will be postponed due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. – Oct 7, 2020

The Quebec government is postponing elections at English school boards due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier François Legault announced the decision Wednesday during an update on the evolving health crisis.

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He said the delay for the elections comes on the heels of advice from public health authorities.

“Right now we had a recommendation from the public health this morning to postpone these elections because of the actual situation with the pandemic,” he told reporters in Quebec City.

“We always follow the recommendations of public health.”

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Quebec’s English School Boards Association (QESBA) welcomed the news.

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“We’re pleased with the decision,” QESBA president Russell Copeman said. “As you may know, the QESBA has been calling for the postponement of these elections since the spring because of the legal uncertainty around the election model which was only resolved on the 17 of September but also due to the pandemic.”

Copeman said although the province has yet to provide details on how things will work, the association believes that acclaimed candidates for the positions of school board chair and school board commissioner should be considered elected and should take office in November.

“That gives the school boards, councils of commissioners enough members to function, there would be more than enough members for quorum,” Copeman said. “There is the issue of what to do with the nine races and the six vacancies and we have some ideas about that as well, but we need to see what cabinet might have decided today in the form of an order in council.”

The elections for the English-language school boards were set for Nov. 1.

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–With files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez