|THE ENGLISH MONTREAL SCHOOL BOARD OPPOSES BILL 60 BASED ON THE FACT IT CONTRADICTS THE EDUCATION ACT|
Quebec, QC — February 12, 2014: Ms Angela Mancini, Chairman of the English Montreal School Board(EMSB) will take part at 5 p.m. today in the public hearings on the Bill 60 to voice the Board’s firm opposition to the Marois Government’s proposed legislation. Along with Ms Sylvia Lo Bianco, Vice‐ Chairman of the Board and Ms Patricia R. Lattanzio, member of the EMSB Education Committee, Ms Mancini will emphasize among other aspects that the proposed bill is in total contradiction with the Education Act, the Quebec education system’s founding legislation.
During the media briefing prior to her intervention before the Parliamentary Commission, Ms Mancini recalled the principles underlying the fundamental legislation that defines our Quebec education system. “Article 37 of the Education Act stipulates that the educational project of the school must respect the freedom of conscience and of religion of the students, the parents and the school staff. The proposed Charter is therefore in direct contradiction of the Act. Is the Premier of Quebec aware of this? “, she asked.
Speaking on behalf of not only the members of the EMSB Board but also of the teachers and executives, of their unions and of student parents’ committees, Ms Mancini further explained that the EMSB had always abided by the spirit of the Education Act to the letter and made it its duty to teach its students the respect of religious diversity and pluralism. “We have reduced ignorance and prejudice, thereby fostering a climate of respect and of acceptance of diversity. We wish to continue to do so. Therefore, we ask you, why change what is working well and makes us so proud?” she added.
A battle that is only beginning
Ms Mancini also mentioned that the EMSB does not intend to leave it at that. “We shall fight by summoning all possible recourses at our disposal so that this legislation can never apply to our school board”, she explained. “We will ask Minister Bernard Drainville: “which law must we disobey?”
Other large institutions also concerned by the proposed Bill
The English Montreal School Board is not the only organization to rise against what the Marois Government is trying to impose on Quebec society, considered both an inclusive and democratic society. Ms Mancini indicated in this regard that other important and highly credible institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights, the Quebec Bar Association, the Quebec Civil Liberties Union, the City of Montreal, the Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops and Quebec universities would also express their opposition to the adoption of Bill 60.
About the English Montreal School Board (EMSB)
With over 33,000 students across 77 schools and centers, the EMSB is Quebec’s largest public Anglophone school board. Established on July 1st, 1998 when new linguistic school boards were created by the government, it serves 14 boroughs and six municipalities on the Island of Montreal.
Its mission is to support its schools and centers in their efforts to educate students within a caring, safe and inclusive learning environment, notably by recognizing and valuing the diversity of its community. It provides all students with the opportunity to develop their talents and achieve their full potential while recognizing the skills and competencies of its employees and supporting their continuous professional development. The EMSB fosters the development of educated and responsible persons by providing a lifelong learning environment and encouraging critical thinking.
For further information regarding this press conference:
Michael J. Cohen