Letter to the editor 2, Oct. 15, 2020

Proud of work done by APPELE-Quebec and its allies

Dear Editor,

In the October 8 edition of The Journal, letter writer Chris Eustace accused me of hypocrisy. His claim is completely unfounded and I feel compelled to reply to his letter.

Mr. Eustace is not a fan of school boards. He is entitled to his opinion. But I am entitled to mine as well. When the Liberal government of Premier Philippe Couillard introduced Bill 86, designed to abolish school boards, I was a member of Cabinet and of the Liberal caucus. I took an oath not to reveal the nature of those discussions. However, I would like to inform your readers that the principles I am now defending as part of APPELE-Quebec, a broad coalition of organizations representing the English-speaking minority in Quebec, are the same ones I defended as a Liberal MNA. I believe that the English-speaking community has a right to exercise some control over its educational system.

It must be pointed out that Bill 86 was not adopted by the National Assembly. The debate was abandoned after public consultations were heard.

Mr. Eustace does not appear to be concerned about the defence of minority rights as regards to Bill 40. However, in a recent court ruling, the Quebec Court of Appeal stated, “The replacement of English school boards by the school service centres forms part of what… constitutes (a) significant transfer of the power of management and control over the English language minority’s educational system to the Minister and to the employees of the future school service centres.”

As a parent and a grandparent and a graduate of an English public school in Quebec, I believe that our constitution protects my right to have a say over the English school system in Quebec.

I am proud of the work being done by APPELE-Quebec and its allies to defend our rights.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Kelley

Beaconsfield

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