|EMSB CHAIRMAN INFURIATED BY NEWS THAT EDUCATION MINISTER PLANS TO HALT BY-ELECTION|
MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 10, 2015- English Montreal School Board Chairman Angela Mancini says she is infuriated to learn that Quebec Minister of Education François Blais plans to halt a scheduled by-election in the Côte Saint-Luc - Hampstead district on December 13th.
“We are well aware of Minister Blais’ desire to abolish future school board elections, but in this case we contacted the Ministry and the Direction des Elections first and got their go ahead to call this by-election,” said Ms. Mancini. “This is another loss for democracy in this province and for the English community of Montreal.”
The by-election was deemed necessary after long-time commissioner Syd Wise passed away last month. Three candidates filed their papers on November 8th. “This is absolutely unfair to the candidates,” said Ms. Mancini. “These people have started to campaign and have done so in good faith. The board has also hired someone to oversee the by-election and he in turn has engaged staff. Money has already been spent. Why are we being told about this now? This is irresponsible of Minister Blais!”
Ms. Mancini said that if this law to cancel the by-election in CSL and Hampstead is passed tomorrow, she would expect the Ministry to allow the EMSB Council to itself elect a new commissioner to replace Dr. Wise.
“What I find most disturbing,” said Ms. Mancini, “is that the Minister seems intent to abolish the role of elected school commissioners despite a complete lack of adequate consultation on the subject. He completely dismissed the Jennings’ Report on the very day it was released. Who knows if he had even read it?”
Michael J. Cohen