April 15, 2014

By: David C. D’Aoust, Audrey Acteson, Moira Bell, Stephen Burke, Michael Chiasson, Angela Mancini, Nick Milas, Michael Murray and Suanne Stein Day

Montreal, April 15, 2014¬†– The April 7 election has given Quebecers a renewed sense of hope for this province’s future. The Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) along with our nine member boards have high expectations of this newly elected government in matters relating to funding of direct services to students and student success.

The Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) platform was clear with its position on education and promised to reduce bureaucratic costs at the Ministry level by removing Regional Offices and reinvesting the savings in our public education system in this mandate. QESBA will remain steadfast in reminidng the Premier-elect of the importance he place on education during his winning campaign. Our Association has always worked in close partnership with the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sports (MELS) and plans on cultivating that relatiionship with the Premier-elect and his new Minister of MELS.

The Quebec English education system is one of the foremost successful systems in the world. We are a privileged population as a result of dedicated and innovative staff members as well as locally elected school boards. QESBA on behalf of its 9 member school boards will continue to advocate and promote our English public school system. Over the last number of years, between sensationalist news stories and false representation on the actual numbers surrounding our system costs for the operation of our schools and adult centers, it is fair for our network to expect to sit and discuss with the premier-elect appropriate measures to enhance public education.

QESBA calls on our Premier-elect to re-convene the Table Québec-Commissions scolaires before depositing a budget in the National Assembly to sit and exchange with QESBA. We are the leaders in education and can offer the Premier-elect a valuable portrait of an extremely important public education system and changes that need to be considered to maintain this system.

Education is the cornerstone of any society and as such must be nurtured. To that end, we call on the Premier-elect to consider a summit on public education in this mandate with all partners to examine adequate school board funding, taxation, governance and the protection of temporary military exemptions as per The Charter of the French Language.

We need to dialogue to ensure that the students come first. We are ready to meet with the Premier-elect and the new Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports.

The nine member boards of QESBA count on this new government to work in partnership with us to properly prepare our 100,000 students for Quebec’s future. The very future of our students’ success, cannot and must not be compromised by additional financial burdens placed on existing budgets that have been extensively eroded over the past years. Mr. Premier, the ball is in your court!

David D’Aoust is the President of the Quebec English School Boards Association and the Chairman of the New Frontiers School Board. The following are Chairs of their respective school boards: Audrey Acteson (Eastern Shores), Moira Bell (Riverside), Michael Chiasson (Western Quebec), Angela Mancini (English Montreal), Nick Milas (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), Michael Murray (Eastern Townships), Stephen Burke (Central Qu√©bec) and Suanne Stein Day (Lester B. Pearson).