Yves Bolduc intervenes in Repentigny school land dispute
Education minister intervenes as land battle between French and English school boards escalates
A dispute over a parcel of land in Repentigny that's pitted the English and French school boards in the community just northeast of Montreal against each other has now forced Quebec’s Education Minister Yves Bolduc to intervene.
The land sits next to Repentigny’s only English-language elementary school, Franklin Hill Elementary, which was hoping to build a soccer field and outdoor classroom on it.
Repentigny’s French-language Commission scolaire des Affluents, however, says it needs the land for a new elementary school to accommodate the area’s burgeoning population.
Both schools would have a combined capacity of 1,400 students.
The French-language school board has the support of the City of Repentigny, which says there’s no other land available for the much-needed school.
That position has parents of Franklin Hill students upset, many of whom packed a city council meeting in mid-July to voice their anger.
Among other issues, the English-speaking parents say the new school would generate excessive traffic through the neighbourhood.
Franklin Hill parents have also organized a petition against the proposed new school that now has 700 signatures.
Last week, Parti Québécois education critic Nicole Léger asked Education Minister Yves Bolduc to intervene, saying the English-language Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board was moving ahead with construction of the soccer field.
A spokeswoman for Bolduc confirmed to CBC News that the minister is involved in the dispute and has been for weeks.
Bolduc is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.