Letter to the editor 1, August 20, 2015
There were two significant events held last weekend: a wedding and a school board by-election. Let's link the two.
First: the school board election held in the Quebec City area cost the taxpayer $50,000 or, put another way, $203 for each of the 246 electors with a turnout of only 1.36 per cent.
The result solicited this comment from the press attaché of Education Minister François Blais: "This is the reason we are depositing a new bill this autumn, to revitalize school democracy." Naturally, this is something the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) strongly opposes.
Second: last Saturday media-mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau married his long-time companion Julie Snyder. The wedding reminded me of the QESBA's report to the Canadian School Boards Association, at its 'Congress' held last month in Saskatchewan.
The report claimed a recent poll in the 'Journal de Montréal' newspaper, which it referred to as the 'National Enquirer of the North,' is the reason the government decided to do away with school board elections.
Apparently, the paper took a poll concerning board elections, in which 80 per cent of respondents said to do away with them because they are no longer relevant in our high-tech world.
The association states the government is swayed by "populist politics" rather than be concerned with student success and the future of Quebec education.
Moreover, the QESBA found it necessary to state "the paper is owned by the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Quebec National Assembly, Mr. Pierre Karl Péladeau!" (www.cdnsba.ca)
Making disparaging inferences about a newspaper and its owner to justify its own raison d’être, the QESBA does nothing to show cause for its costly existence to the taxpaying public.
Equally significant to this letter, which deals primarily with democracy matters, is the fact that both the present chairperson (Suanne Stein Day), and past chairman of the Lester. B Pearson School Board (Marcus Tabachnick) are, respectively, Director and Executive Director of the QESBA.
Incidentally, both of whom have banned me from participating at Public Question Periods (present ban now 21 months) - indeed, true menaces to democracy.