Proposed law largely ignores English minority realities - Anglophone colleges call on government to withdraw Bill 44 on CEGEP governance

    MONTREAL, Aug. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Directors General and Chairpersons
of the Board of four Montreal-area anglophone CEGEPs will present a brief
tomorrow in Quebec City to the parliamentary commission on education, asking
legislators to withdraw Bill 44, which proposes to change the way CEGEPs are
    The anglophone colleges are urging the government to engage in a
consultation process that will lead to a model of college governance that
enables the colleges to better address the challenges Quebec society is
currently facing.
    "These institutions are entrenched in the landscape of Quebec life and
represent a rich tapestry of Quebec society as they bring together students of
every origin, contributing to the expansion of their horizons, and enhancing
an intercultural experience that is harmonious and respectful of the
differences that exist between them," say the authors of the brief.
    Paramount among the concerns in the brief is that Bill 44 proposes a
model of governance for CEGEPs based on the provisions of Bill 38, which was
formulated to redress elements of university governance in reaction to recent
financial scandals in that sector.
    In the 40 years of the CEGEPs' existence, colleges have developed
effective administrative measures for accountability that have spared them
major financial crises. Bill 44 will hinder the colleges' ability to further
develop their responsibility and autonomy in the achievement of their
educational missions by placing restraints that act as a "lead apron" to weigh
them down with additional bureaucracy.
    Of particular concern to the anglophone colleges is the provision that
delegates to the Ministry of Education the task of appointing eight of the 11
independent Board members. This would essentially close the door on the
anglophone colleges' ability to appoint members who share the same value
systems, a common vision and understanding of the English-minority experience
in Quebec.
    The brief states: "The links forged between our institutions and the
communities they have served over the years are at risk if Board members are
selected through some random process, or based on factors that do not include
competence, cultural and institutional affinity."
    Other concerns include the elimination of the Academic Dean from a seat
at the Board table. "The Colleges Act entrusts the Academic Dean with the
mandate to ensure respect for and implementation of the mission (of the
college) (...) (he or she embodies) the academic integrity of the college.
When he or she stands before the Board, he or she represents the raison-d'être
of the college."

    Champlain Regional College, Dawson College, John Abbott College and
Vanier College together have more than 25,000 students enrolled in full- and
part-time studies, a large majority of them in the pre-university stream, and
employ nearly 3,000 people.

    The brief can be viewed in its entirety at:

For further information:

For further information: Maxime Filion, Champlain Regional College,
(819) 564-3600 ext. 635,; Donna Varrica, Dawson
College, (514) 931-8731 ext. 1352,; Debbie Cribb,
John Abbott College, (514) 457-6610 ext. 5354,;
Marguerite Corriveau, Vanier College, (514) 744-7500 ext. 7596,

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