MONTREAL, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The President of the Quebec
English School Boards Association (QESBA) offered his congratulations
to Premier-elect Pauline Marois this morning, and pledged the
collaboration of Quebec's English public school network with her newly
elected minority government.
"First, we express our relief for Mme Marois' personal safety, and our
admiration for the calm and courage with which she dealt with last
night's tragedy", noted QESBA President David D'Aoust. "With
yesterday's results, Quebecers appear to have sent a message for change
and stability at the same time. In our view, that message, and the very
slim margin of victory by the Parti québécois yesterday behooves Mme
Marois to abandon her radical plan to extend Bill 101 restrictions to
Cegeps and school board adult education programs.
"QESBA leaders have met many times over the years with Premier-elect
Pauline Marois," D'Aoust noted. "We have before and will again work
with Mme Marois and her team to strengthen public education in the
province, reduce the student drop-out rate and improve services to
students with special needs. Our English school boards have a proud
record on each of these priorities. At the same time, the Premier-elect
will have a fight on her hands should her new government carry through
with its Bill 101 proposal."
The nine-member Boards of QESBA serve some 10,000 adult-sector students,
many of whom would lose their right to attend important vocational and
general education programs if the PQ proposal is put into place.
"Adults in these program are getting the second chance to add skills,
often to complete high school and improve their French, and ultimately,
to contribute more fully to Québec's economic future," D'Aoust added.
"There are absolutely no winners if that door is shut. QESBA expects to
add its voice to that of the Fédération des Cégeps du Québec, the
Conseil du patronat and numerous student and community groups in
opposing the application of Bill 101 to adult and vocational centres."
QESBA will also be calling on the Opposition parties in the newly
constituted National Assembly to oppose any further extensions of Bill
101 provisions. The Association would instead urge the new government
and the other parties to focus on restoring public education funding
levels, supporting student success, confirming a date for the next
school board elections and seeking social and linguistic peace. The PQ
promised to do all of these things during the recent election campaign.
"The Parti québécois, as Mme Marois herself properly recognized has now
been charged with the solemn task of forming a government for all
Quebecers - those who voted for them, those who didn't and, surely,
Quebec's children, whose educational welfare and success must depend on
responsible and inclusive government action. So long as such action is
evident, QESBA will be an engaged ally and productive partner," D'Aoust
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Quebec.
SOURCE: QUEBEC ENGLISH SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Director of Communications and Special Projects
514-849-5900, ext. 225