Montreal

EMSB could be ordered to turn over 3 schools to Pointe-de-l'Île school board

Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge says he's prepared to use his legal powers to order the English Montreal School Board to transfer three buildings to the overcrowded French-language board: General Vanier and Gerald McShane elementary schools and John Paul I junior high.

Education Minister names General Vanier, Gerald McShane and John Paul I junior high as those to be transferred

Education Minister Jean-François Roberge says he's prepared to use his powers under the Quebec Public Education Act to order the EMSB to transfer three school buildings in Montreal's east end to the overcrowded Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge says he's prepared to order the English Montreal School Board to transfer three buildings to the Commission scolaire de Pointe-de-l'Île: General Vanier and Gerald McShane elementary schools and John Paul I junior high.

In a letter addressed to EMSB chair Angela Mancini, dated May 8, Roberge says the French-language board, which covers Montreal's east end, is short of space for close to 3,000 students — notably because of the need for more welcome classes for newcomers to Quebec at every level. 

In his letter, Roberge said he is aware the EMSB has been in talks with commissioners with its French counterparts for months. One of the possible scenarios on the table was to share space at the EMSB's Galileo Adult Education Centre.

"While the proposal made by your school board to the CSPI may have seemed to respond to some of the needs, it remains insufficient," Roberge stated in the letter.

The letter goes on say that Roberge is counting on the school boards to inform all the parents who would be affected by such a move.

General Vanier Elementary School in Saint-Léonard is one of three English Montreal School Board buildings the education minister has said he will use his powers to transfer to the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île, which needs space for another 3,000 students. (EMSB)

Roberge's letter to the EMSB comes several months after transferring a high school in the West Island to the French Board.

Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds, which belongs to the Lester B. Pearson School Board, will be taken over by the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeois as of July.

The EMSB said in a news release it has been given until June 10 to provide feedback to the minister on a number of issues involving such a move.

The board's commissioners will hold a special meeting on this subject at the EMSB headquarters at 6000 Fielding Avenue on May 13 at 7 p.m. 

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