Montreal, November 22, 2023 – The Quebec English School Boards Association is pleased with the understanding reached with the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, regarding the adoption and implementation of Bill 23: An Act to amend mainly the Education Act and to enact the Act respecting the Institut national d’excellence en éducation, for the English school board network.
Minister Drainville has tabled an amendment to Bill 23 which, if adopted, would not implement certain sections of Bill 23 relating to governance of English school boards as a result of our expressing to the Minister they clearly violate section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“While we maintain that these sections in Bill 23 are unconstitutional, we are pleased with the understanding reached with the Minister to not bring these sections of Bill 23 into force for our school boards,” said QESBA President Joe Ortona.
“While many people recognized that Bill 23 was clearly unconstitutional, including for non-section 23 rightsholders, the Government refused to do so, it’s important to recognize that this is a significant step that the Minister is making regarding section 23 and the English-speaking minority’s right to manage and control its school system. Would we have preferred to have been completely exempt? Absolutely, but this is a step in the right direction as far as we are concerned,” concluded the President.
QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in over 300 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Quebec.