MONTREAL, OCTOBER 2, 2012 – English Montreal School Board Chairman Angela Mancini has expressed her appreciation to Jean-François Lisée, Quebec’s new minister responsible for Montreal and the anglophone community, for initiating a meeting on October 1.
Ms. Mancini, EMSB Director General Robert Stocker and Lester B. Pearson School Board Chairman Sueanne Stein Day met with Mr. Lisée for an hour as part of what the minister called his “listening tour” with the English community.
Mr. Lisée is also the Parti Québécois Member of the National Assembly for Rosemount. His riding encompasses two EMSB schools – Nesbitt Elementary and Rosemount High. The minister indicated he intends to visit both schools in the coming months.
Discussion revolved around the EMSB’s low enrollment rate and the future of the anglophone community. “Between 2007 and 2017, the EMSB is projected to lose over 4,600 or 20 percent of our students while the francophone school boards on the Island of Montreal will increase by 18,000 or 13 percent over the same period,” Ms. Mancini said. “A lot of damage has been done to our English system.”
“My fundamental position is that if there is worry for the strength and continuity of the English speaking community, remedial measures are in order,” Mr. Lisée said. "That is the basic position and that is the same position for the French majority - and for first nations we have to live in era of common linguistics and identity security for the three groups.”
Ms. Mancini noted that the conversation set the table for cordial relations between both groups.
Mr. Lisée also took the time to record a special video message to EMSB students, staff and parents.