MONTREAL, Nov. 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec English School Boards
Association (QESBA) expressed its disappointment with the announcement
made by Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports Marie Malavoy of
her government's intention to further postpone school elections to the
Fall of 2014. Mme Malavoy announced today in Québec City that the
government has foregone the idea of holding school elections on the
same day as municipal elections in November 2013, a scenario supported
by QESBA as well as its partners at the Fédération des commissions
scolaires du Québec - and one that was under clear consideration by the
Parti Québécois minority government since its election on September 4th.
School board commissioners are universally elected to manage and deliver
public education in Québec. In the English sector, they represent the
only level of government uniquely responsible to electors who identify
with Québec's English-speaking minority. "QESBA has been actively
working on the school elections dossier since 2009 and has always
championed the citizens' right to democracy," said QESBA President
David D'Aoust. He did acknowledge his appreciation for the efforts of
the Minister to move forward on the file but nevertheless regretted
today's decision: "Yes, the holding of simultaneous elections in
November 2013 posed a challenge but one that could have been overcome.
We are aware of the views of both the Directeur général des élections
and the associations representing the muncipalities on this subject;
but we don't share them. QESBA is impatient about renewing our
rendez-vous with our electors. Our English public schools are
cornerstones of our communities. Those communities should not have to
wait yet again for the chance to choose their English education
D'Aoust noted QESBA's frustration with the past government's inaction on
the school elections dossier. The Liberals had promised to renew school
democracy but never set an election date after indefinitely postponing
the last scheduled elections of November 2011 a year earlier.
"QESBA remains committed to democratic renewal," D'Aoust added. "I have
been assured by Minister Malavoy that our Association will be regularly
consulted and involved in preparations for the new date in 2014. There
are boundaries to be redrawn, funding for elections to be allocated and
electoral lists - particularly English ones - to be properly revised.
This is not the timetable we were looking for but now, it is time to
move forward and start preparing for the 2014 election of school
commissioners to lead our school boards."
QESBA representatives will meet with the Directeur général des élections
in Québec City tomorrow, with a view to re-starting that work
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec representing
some 105,000 students.
SOURCE: QUEBEC ENGLISH SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Information: Kim Hamilton
Director of Communications and Special Projects