September 16, 2015

Montreal, September 16, 2015 – The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA), the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), the English Parents Community Association (EPCA) and the Quebec Federation of Home and Schools (QFHSA) are pleased with the findings of the Elections Systems Study Panel which aim to protect the constitutional rights of English-speaking Quebecers and to protect the integrity of our educational institutions which are key to the vitality of our communities.

“Our schools are a major cornerstone of our minority language communities and it is essential that our community be consulted on this very important issue,” said Walter Duszara, Secretary of the QCGN. “Our schools preserve and promote the culture of English-speaking Quebecers which is why our linguistic minority community has the right to manage and control these institutions. The Government of Quebec’s role is to provide the resources necessary to ensure English schools are a substantively equivalent to majority schools, not to interfere with how we govern our schools.”

“We are very pleased with the consultation conducted by Mrs. Jennings and the Panel. No stone was left unturned and the results speak for themselves,” commented QESBA President David D’Aoust. “We needed the consultation of the community-at-large to be able to show the Couillard government that we, collectively, as a minority community have the right to manage and control our institutions and that the only way to ensure this is by electing our representatives by universal suffrage.”

“EPCA is pleased with the Jennings report more specifically, that it does call for more parent involvement including the right to vote on councils,” said President Pierre Chouinard.

QESBA, QCGN, EPCA and QFHSA created the panel to study electoral systems and the possible application of a new system for school board elections that would be effective, efficient, and meet the standards for minority language community management and control rights as defined in the Canadian Constitution and clarified by subsequent Supreme Court decisions. The four sponsoring groups will examine the report in detail and move forward with their own recommendations to the provincial government based on the findings of the Jennings report.