QESBA Letter to premier elect Pauline Marois

Madame la première-ministre-élue,

MONTREAL, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - On behalf of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) please accept my congratulations upon your historic election as Quebec's first Première-ministre yesterday. During your accomplished career as a Minister and MNA, the leaders of our Association have had a number of opportunities to meet and collaborate with you. It is our hope that we can build on that relationship with you and your new government over the coming months. Allow me to immediately express my concern and relief for your personal safety, as well as my admiration for the courage and calm with which you dealt with yesterday's terrible tragedy.

QESBA and its nine-member school boards are extremely proud of our English public school network, its record of student success, world-class French second-language instruction, and its efficient and transparent school board administration. It is, of course, a network you helped create when you were Education Minister. We trust that the newly elected government will establish the necessary conditions to allow our English school network to strengthen and flourish.

Mme Marois, the test of a good, reasonable and democratic government is always anchored in its treatment of minorities. That said, I remind you of your promise last night in your acceptance speech to listen, as Premier, to all citizens and to govern with reason and care. You also assured members of the English-speaking community that they are indispensable to Quebec's future. Our network of English school boards contributes to the economic and social development of Quebec. Our adult and vocational education centres are a vital path to a successful future for many individual Quebecers, francophone and anglophone. The mandate of these centres should not be compromised by extending Bill 101 restrictions to their operations.

QESBA is ready to participate in a forum that your party has promised on the financing of and access to post-secondary education, including adult and vocational education programs, and to use that eventual opportunity to further defend our arguments against the application of Bill 101 at that level.

QESBA understands that the coming months will be extremely busy and challenging ones. We do hope that you will nevertheless find the time to schedule a meeting with us. After all, English school boards represent the only level of government universally elected to represent the minority-language community in Quebec. We look forward to the important opportunity to have a face-to-face encounter with you and your new team to discuss issues of mutual concern. Perhaps, of equal importance, we would hope such a meeting would help set the stage for a dialogue of trust and respect between our community and your new government.

Thank you, Madame la première-ministre-élue, for your attention to these pressing matters. We are confident that you will honor the solemn mandate Quebecers bestowed upon you yesterday, with wisdom, compassion and care. We wish you the very best of luck in doing so.



David D'Aoust


For further information:

Kim Hamilton
Director of Communications and Special Projects
514-849-5900, ext. 225
514-919-3894 (cell)

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