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School boards are an existential question for anglophones

5 0 6
10.01.2019

Try the word-association test with “service centre.” What springs to mind?

“Automobile”?

Definitely.

“Returns counter”?

Very possibly.

“Education”?

Not so much.

What association would the courts make between the existing school board and the government’s proposed service centre? The determination of Education Minister Jean-François Roberge to replace the former with the latter, coupled with the unavailability of the notwithstanding clause in matters of minority education rights, means we may soon find out.

The third-way politics of Premier François Legault and his stated desire to unite Quebecers after decades of division might yet give him pause, assuming that anglophones, too, are part of the plan for “national” reconciliation. There is precedent. The Couillard government climbed down from the ledge after the entreaties of the Quebec English School Boards Association, the anglophone lobby in education matters. But the Quebec Liberals are heavily doped on the anglophone vote. The Coalition Avenir Québec formed a strong majority government without it.

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© Montreal Gazette