(Quebec) The French and English school boards in Quebec can count on the support of their peers across the country. At a press conference on Wednesday, the Canadian Association of School Boards (CSBA) and the National Federation of Francophone school boards (FNCSF) Couillard urged the government to reconsider its decision to eliminate school elections and instead improve participation in these elections by holding them in conjunction with municipal elections, as is the case in other provinces.
The presidents of the CSBA and FNCSF, Floyd Martens and Robert Maddix, recalled that the election of commissioners was an exclusive right of each community to manage and control its school system while making those elected directly accountable to the people .
In a letter sent to the Prime Minister in May Philippe Couillard, the two organizations said they believed that “local control strikes the right balance in a centralized bureaucracy that often does not reflect the varied and diverse nature of our communities.”
While welcoming this important support, the president of the Federation of Quebec school boards (FCSQ), Josée Bouchard, said Wednesday that the low turnout for school elections was mostly due to government inaction Couillard, which does as it has done nothing to enhance democracy in schools. The school boards have tried to find solutions by offering to match particular school elections to municipal elections and to introduce electronic voting, but the government has not been open to discussion, Ms. Bouchard has deplored.
His counterpart from the Association of English School Boards of Quebec, David C. Daoust, criticized the government for the same closure. “The Minister [of Education] to be saved in without speaking. If this is the number of Commissioners is at issue, we can find solutions, but there was no discussion, “he has said.
Ms. Bouchard and Mr. Daoust worry that the education system given to individuals who have special interests without being accountable to the people. “Look what is happening in Quebec, school officials have publicly and strongly denounced the cuts in the spring by Quebec. Do you think a board approved by the ministry will take this freedom? “Explained Josée Bouchard.
Mr. Daoust for his part, argues that besides the issue of school democracy, that of survival and belonging is fundamental to the minority anglophone community. “It’s very important for us to maintain the system, and if the community decides to go to court, we will go, there are rights to be protected.”
Robert Maddix also believes that maintaining the school elections is essential to ensure the constitutional rights of minorities. In New Brunswick, Francophones were opposed to the abolition of school boards and they have been successful, said the president of the FNCSF.