Quebec gov. tells school boards to reduce taxes

A meeting today between the Quebec provincial government and school boards has ended with education minister Marie Malavoy asking school boards to cut administrative costs and reduce taxes.

Says boards need to reduce administrative costs

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and Education Minister Marie Malavoy met with representatives from school boards today to discuss tax increases. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

A meeting today between the Quebec provincial government and school board representatives has ended with Education Minister Marie Malavoy asking school boards to cut administrative costs and reduce taxes.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois also attended the closed-door meeting today with the Quebec English School Boards Association and the Federation des commission scolaires de Quebec.

David D'Aoust, president of the Quebec English School Boards Association, said their budgets have been slashed by the provincial government and have had no choice but to raise taxes.

"We're sure [the government] can do more than what they've done," said D'Aoust.

Some boards, particularly off the island of Montreal, have raised taxes by as much as 30 per cent.

The province said this raise is too much, and is asking the school boards to cut administrative costs.

Representatives from the school boards said they do not think they will be able to reduce administrative expenses, but have agreed to meet again with the government in two weeks. 

"If there's any way we can possibly reduce expenses we'll try again, but I don't see it as being that easy. So we tried to do what we could, and we just couldn't do it," said D'Aoust.

"We're still very far apart. We're not happy about the situation."

Minister Malavoy said she hopes for a longer-term revision of the entire school tax system that will decrease the burden on taxpayers and perhaps include a rebate for tax-payers.  

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