Secular charter is 2013's 'Speak White,' says Montreal school board

The Lester B. Pearson School Board says the Parti Québécois’s proposed secular charter is the 2013 version of “Speak White,” a controversial Quebec poem.

Lester B. Pearson School Board sends brief to Quebec's national assembly saying it opposes charter

Public hearings on the secular charter will begin in the national assembly in January 2014. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

The Lester B. Pearson School Board says the Parti Québécois’s proposed secular charter is the 2013 version of “Speak White,” a controversial Quebec poem.

The poem, written by Michèle Lalonde in 1968, speaks about intolerance toward French-speaking people in Canada.

The school board on Montreal’s West Island filed its written brief with the national assembly and its Commission on Institutions on Dec. 19, a day shy of the deadline for submission of briefs on the proposed secular charter.

The national assembly will begin its public hearings on Bill 60 in the new year.

The brief was signed by school board chairwoman Suanne Stein Day.

In it, she wrote, “We believe the proposed legislation is completely unnecessary and its basic premises unfounded. There is no identifiable problem that this legislation is looking to address.”

The school board joins the English Montreal School Board, Concordia University and a number of other Quebec institutions in formally opposing the charter. 

The commission hearings formally begin Jan. 14.

Read the Lester B. Pearson School Board letter to the Commission on Institutions here:

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.