|EMSB MEETS WITH ALLIANCE QUEBEC|
MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 10, 2004— The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) held its first formal meeting with Alliance Quebec recently.
Alliance Quebec President Rev. Darryl Gray and Executive Director Sam Ephraim met with EMSB Chairman Dominic Spiridigliozzi, Vice-Chair Elizabeth Fokoefs and Director General Antonio Lacroce. "While we have always been in regular contact with Alliance Quebec in the past I felt the time had come to schedule an official meeting whereby we could discuss matters of mutual interest," said Mr. Spiridigliozzi.
Rev. Gray said he appreciated the timing of the meeting given the fact he will lead an Alliance Quebec delegation to meet with Minister of Education Pierre Reid on Sept. 23. Discussion focused on the services made available by the EMSB and the demographics of the English community, with particular attention devoted towards Bill 104. This law now excludes studies completed in the Quebec private system as the basis for admission in the English public system. The EMSB is losing close to 400 new students a year because of this law. At the time of its adoption by the former Parti Quebecois government, the Quebec English School Boards Association made representations opposing the law.
The EMSB also brought Rev. Gray up to date on its consultation process for major school change. Hearings will be held on Mon. Dec. 6, followed by a special meeting of the Council of Commissioners on Jan. 19, 2005 to consider recommendations to close six schools and relocate several others in the youth and adult sectors.
"Alliance Quebec has an important role to play in our community," stated Mr. Spirigliozzi. "We welcomed this opportunity for dialogue and hope it continues."
Michael J. Cohen