English Montreal School Board

Québec Superior Court refused to grant the injunction requested by the EMSB that would have blocked CAQ Education Minister Jean-François Roberge’s plan to transfer two of the EMSB’s schools over to the borough’s local French-speaking Pointe de L’Isle (CSPI) school board. As mentioned in a previous Suburban report, Roberge insisted that “...under the Education Act, we are legally required to provide every child with an education, whether they are English speaking or Francophone.”

While Madame Justice Dominique Poulin agreed that the EMSB’s motion satisfied at least two of the four points that define the urgent need for a court-ordered injunction, she ultimately decided to refuse the EMSB’s request because its students can go to other EMSB schools as opposed to the CSPI’s 3000 students who have no classrooms, no desks and nowhere to go during the next school year.

“While the court found that the EMSB raised a serious question based on section 23 of the Canadian Charter, and was satisfied that the EMSB would suffer serious harm if the stay was not granted , it ultimately found that the balance of inconvenience weighed in favor of the CSPI,” wrote the EMSB in its statement following the ruling.

While the EMSB’s primary school students will be sent to its French-speaking Pierre De Coubertin school, its high school students will be sent to Saint Leonard’s Laurier-MacDonald High School. Ironically, while Justice Poulin’s decision will provide up to 38 new classrooms for the CSPI’s students, the local school board still requires another 80 classrooms in order to provide all the space it needs for its growing numbers of students

While the Québec Education Ministry welcomes the decision, the minister also said that “...c’est triste, mais voila!”

Roughly translated, that means “…it’s sad, but that’s it!”

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