Hector Singh, 8, is lobbying Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante to help get a new school built in his neighbourhood.
He and his classmates are hoping Plante can pressure Quebec's Ministry of Education to approve a new school in their Peter-McGill district — a slice of downtown running from University Street in the east to Westmount city limits in the west.
"I know it's important for the kids that they have a school because my school has a lot of people," Singh said.
According to the Peter-McGill Community Council, there will be a need for 37 more classes in the area by 2021.
Singh wants to see a new school built at the site of the old Montreal Children's Hospital.
The site is currently zoned for multiple uses and is owned by developer Devimco.
The $450-million project currently includes a community centre, a condo tower and an apartment building.
Devimco said they are on-board with having a school at the site, but they haven't gotten the green light from Quebec's Ministry of Education.
"We agree with the project, we always said 'yes' to it," Devimco spokesperson André Bouthillier said.
Getting everyone to the table
Graham Singh, Hector's father, said time is running out before the developer moves forward with a plan that doesn't include a school on its grounds.
He said the family is fairly new to Montreal and doesn't understand why the city, minister of education and developer aren't communicating about the need for a new school.
"The school board knows that there are 50 classes needed in the next few years, so the city put in the zoning on this building to create for that new school," he explained.
"The school board seemed to not quite like the zoning the city gave though, and by that time, the developer had come in."
At the Ville-Marie borough council meeting Tuesday night, Singh will be joining his son in handing Plante a stack of cards coloured by children who also want to see a new school in their area.