Marois says abolishing school boards ‘on the table’, association president says

By Kevin Dougherty | Published October 1, 2013 by The Gazette
QUEBE – The president of Quebec’s French school boards’ association said Tuesday night the Marois government is prepared to abolish the boards.Josée Bouchard, president of the Fédération des commission scolaires du Québec, told reporters after a 90-minute meeting between the Parti Québécois government and the boards that she asked Premier Pauline Marois point blank whether she would consider eliminating the boards.

“Everything is on the table,” was the premier’s laconic reply.

But Suanne Stein Day, chairman of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, on Montreal’s West Island, discounted the premier’s threat, noting that the existence of Quebec’s English boards, at least, is guaranteed in the Canadian constitution.

“I do think though it’s not quite fair to leave that threat on the table,” Stein Day said. “We have a constitutional right to exist.”

Marois told the school board representatives she wants them to give back $100 million of the close to $200 million in added schools taxes this year, after her government reduced it’s contribution to the boards by $200 million.

The cuts would come in two $50-million instalments in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

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