Montreal, February 6, 2020 – APPELE-Québec expressed today its frustration and displeasure with the Government of Quebec’s decision to once again limit debate on Bill 40 by invoking closure.
Since the tabling of this complex and at times incoherent bill – it amends 84 separate Acts of the National Assembly – Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has done everything he can to restrict debate on his proposed changes to the governance of our school system. For example, he restricted the number of groups allowed to appear before the parliamentary committee reviewing his proposed legislation, forcing us to hold our own public hearings to ensure our community’s voices would be heard.
On Tuesday, Minister Roberge tabled more than 80 amendments to the Bill and shortly thereafter he tabled amendments to the amendments. The end result is that APPELE-Québec and our members have not had the chance to digest his proposals and understand their impact.
Closure is usually invoked at the end of a parliamentary session, not at the beginning. In order to meet an ill-considered timetable, Minister Roberge is showing a total disrespect for the democratic process. He is moving forward with closure over the objections of the three opposition parties, the major players in the field of education, not to mention Quebec’s English-speaking minority community. He is not operating in the best interest of our students, their families or our teachers. The mistakes made today will haunt Quebec for months and years to come.
We deplore Minister Roberge’s decision to ram this critical Bill through the National Assembly without taking the time to listen and address the significant concerns that APPELE-Québec and others have raised.
APPELE-Québec – the Alliance for the Promotion of Public English-language Education in Québec – is a broadly-based, Quebec-wide community coalition to promote the continued existence of English school boards, to ensure they are governed by commissioners who are democratically elected by the English-speaking community at large. Our Alliance is comprised of 16 supporting organizations and nine observer groups. For more information about APPELE-Québec, go to www.appelequebec.org.
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