MONTREAL, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) looks forward to building upon an existing relationship with Marie Malavoy, who was appointed Education Minister in the Cabinet of the new Parti québécois government yesterday. "Madame Malavoy is a former PQ Education critic and during that tenure, QESBA had a number of constructive and detailed exchanges with her on issues of concern to our students and our English public school network," noted QESBA President David D'Aoust. "Education is a vital and complex portfolio. I have every confidence that this Minister will continue to demonstrate wisdom, openness and leadership in her new functions."
D'Aoust noted that the Association will be seeking a prompt meeting with Malavoy. Among the issues that QESBA will put on that meeting agenda are three major ones: maintaining equitable public school funding, with school boards given the flexibility and support to put those funds fully to work for the students in the classroom; shelving a PQ platform proposal to extend Bill 101 to adult students; and, securing a commitment to hold school board elections, put off more than two years ago. English school boards represent the only level of government in Québec directly elected by the members of the communities they serve.
QESBA is pleased with the important distinction between higher education and the youth sector underlined by Premier Pauline Marois in her Cabinet appointments yesterday. "Separating the two dossiers is a clear sign to us on the importance this new government is placing on education and all of its dimensions," D'Aoust added.
The Association also expects to work closely with Diane de Courcy, former Chair of the Commission scolaire de Montréal, who has been given the Bill 101 dossier, among others. "Madame De Courcy has some familiarity, of course, with English school boards. We hope to remind her to our concerns as she assumes her new role."
Finally, QESBA acknowledges the particular duty bestowed on Jean-François Lisée by the Premier to reach out to English-speaking Quebecers. This task is in addition to three major portfolios that will comprise his new Ministry. "We recognize and appreciate this gesture, and are eager to exchange with M. Lisée," D'Aoust concluded. "That said, we take the Premier at her word when she notes that she will govern in the interests of all Quebecers. In that spirit, we expect her office and her entire Cabinet to duly engage in addressing the needs of the students and communities that we serve."
QESBA is the voice of English public Education in Québec representing some 100,000 students.
SOURCE: QUEBEC ENGLISH SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Director of Communications and Special Projects