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MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 26, 2015 – The English Montreal School Board is anxious to play a role to welcome Syrian refugees to Quebec and disappointed by the lack of flexibility on the part of the provincial government.

Chairman Angela Mancini says that the EMSB has been present at meetings organized by the City of Montreal on this topic. The EMSB does have some facilities it is willing to make available for this purpose. As for the educational component, the EMSB has asked the government to allow primary and secondary students to attend our schools on a humanitarian basis despite the language laws.  “Regrettably,” says Ms. Mancini, “their answer has been ‘no.’ I would have expected better from them under the circumstances. We have the space and the law does give them the ability to permit this.”

Regarding adult students, the EMSB already welcomes landed immigrants. The question now is whether those with refugee status can be given that option as well. “The schools in our Adult Education and Vocational Services network already welcome students from around the world,” said Ms. Mancini. “True, in many cases they are landed immigrants. But the government has the ability to move these programs along as we are well suited to teaching them English and French as second languages.”

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213