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QESBA appalled by the forcible closure of English public schools

Montreal, May 10, 2019 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) is appalled at the manner in which the Government of Québec is conducting itself regarding the forcible closure and transfer of English schools to relieve the overcrowding in French system.

The Minister has already transferred Riverdale High School in the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) territory in favour of the French school board Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB). Now, he is ordering the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) to surrender three schools to the Commission Scolaire Pointe de l’ile (CSPI) without proper parent and community consultation as is prescribed in Québec’s Education Act.

“This Minister needs to understand that there is a major student, teacher, parent and community impact when closing a school - especially within the English-speaking community in Québec, this is why there are necessary dispositions in the Education Act specifically for consultations. Our primary responsibility has and always will be to our students,” said QESBA President Dan Lamoureux.

“QESBA and the nine member boards we represent have always worked very closely with successive governments to find positive, workable solutions that will benefit our students, parents and the communities we serve.  This Minister refuses to meet with our leaders and discuss things in a productive manner that will benefit the communities they were also elected to serve.  This is a pattern that does not augur well for the future of minority language education in Québec,” concluded the President.

QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in 340 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.