May 1, 2020

Montreal, May 1, 2020 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) submitted this morning the collective position of our nine member boards on the reopening of schools to the Minister of Education.

Our nine English school boards maintain that their priority is and always has been the health and safety of our students, staff and their families. While no English school board will reopen any of its schools and centres earlier than the dates proposed by the Government of Quebec, the respective English School Boards will decide if and when each of their schools and centres may reopen, once they determine that all the conditions required can be met in each instance.

“As of April 30th, there are still far too many unknowns that compromise the ability of school boards to safely and effectively reopen schools. Our assessment is that the implementation of these measures will vary significantly in different school boards and regions and may not even be possible in some areas. We are also convinced that the international health considerations cannot be met in many schools by the deadlines the government is imposing,” said QESBA President Dan Lamoureux.

“The nine English School Boards in Quebec wish to respectfully remind the Government of Quebec and the Minister of Education that we continue to assert our legal & constitutional authority to control and manage our minority language school system and it remains our public responsibility to make the right decisions for our communities.

“Rather than inspiring confidence in the public, this hastily announced plan by the government has had the effect of significantly raising anxiety and stress levels among teachers and parents in particular, as well as the general population. This is clearly evidenced by a petition to delay school reopening until September, already signed by over a quarter of a million citizens. We believe that local school boards are best placed to determine when and under what conditions schools and centres should open.” concluded the President.

QESBA is the voice of English public education in Québec and represents 100,000 students in 340 elementary, high schools, and adult and vocational centres across Québec.