The Quebec government is placing the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) under trusteeship. Jean-Francois Roberge, CAQ’s Education Minister, has not yet released the full report, but the EMSB has been under the threat for some time. The school board has been experiencing issues over management and other issues, but the CAQ has also accused the EMSB of mishandling expenses from their $350 million budget by using part of it to purchase items like jewelry and alcohol, as well as breaking rules when rewarding contracts.
EMSB accused Premier to discredit school board
The school board in turn has accused Premier Francois Legault and Roberge of running a campaign to discredit the EMSB for political reasons – by leaking parts of the report to the public and media. They claimed the ‘attacks’ on the school board were ‘motivated by the CAQ government’s effort to justify abolishing school boards in favour of service centres and in retaliation for court challenges related to Bill 21 and the transfer of our schools to the French sector’ and that they ‘never had the opportunity to review the allegations, nor to provide feedback and context.’ The council of commissioners will be suspended once the trusteeship is official announced. Former Liberal MP Marlene Jennings is expected to be appointed to oversee the board for now – as the trusteeship can be renewed after six months if it is believed necessary. The EMSB will be holding an emergency executive committee meeting this Wednesday night November 6th and another one is also planned for Thursday evening.