Quebec’s premier and education minister are telling the province’s school boards that their members need to take interest in their school boards — if they don't want to lose them.

Over the past month, several school boards — including the English Montreal School Board — have announced they cannot balance their books. The EMSB expects to run a $5-million deficit.

Philippe Couillard said the school boards need to rein in their spending or face serious consequences.

David D'Aoust Quebec English School Boards Association

David D'Aoust, president of the Quebec English School Boards Association, says it's important for voters to cast a ballot on Nov. 2 if only to teach children the value of participating in a democracy. (CBC)

"If the institution says I cannot meet my objectives or execute my mandate for the budgetary reality, then you have two solutions," said Couillard.

"On the one hand, you can forget the budgetary reality, which we will not do. Or you can significantly review the role and the structure of these institutions. I think we may be close to that point," he continued.

Education Minister Yves Bolduc has already sent an auditor to Montreal’s French-language school board and La Commission Scolaire des Patriotes.

As well, a commission looking into all government programs will review school boards and report back to the premier this month.

'If you don’t use it, you lose it.' - David D'Aoust, Quebec English School Boards Association

David D’Aoust, the president of the Quebec English School Boards Association, said on Friday that school boards are desperate for people to vote in the school board elections being held on Nov. 2 to prove to the province that people really do care about them.

"I think it’s time our electorate get out there and vote during the school board elections. If we don’t show that the democratic process is important to us, and to our kids — the students that we have in our schools and centres — we’re going to lose it. It’s a no-brainer on that one. If you don’t use it, you lose it," D’Aoust said.

How to vote

The school board elections are being held Nov. 2.

Parents of students in the English school board will automatically be registered to vote in the English school board elections, and parents of students in the French school system will automatically be registered to vote in the French school board elections.

However, for people without children in school, they are automatically registered in the French board elections. People interested in voting have until Oct. 14 to ask for a registration modification.

 For more information on how to register and vote, see the website of the Chief Electoral Officer.