Press Release

EMSB disappointed; but merits of the case still have not been heard – never mind decided

Montreal - Monday, July 8, 2019

Today, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) learned that its application for a 10-day Stay / Injunction following CAQ government’s decree on June 26, 2019 to transfer two EMSB schools to the Commission Scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Ile (CSPI) was denied, but the merits of the case still have not been heard – never mind decided.

As stated earlier by EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini: “while this is disappointing news, the English community should note that the stay / injunction was denied based on the high threshold required for such action against a government decree.

“But this denial of the stay / injunction is in no way an indication of the validity and substance of our case as a minority English language community. We have constitutional rights. And as such, we are considering all legal options available to us” - Angela Mancini repeated emphatically.

The EMSB hoped for a stay / injunction to keep its two school communities from having to move while the case is heard by the court; as the government decree dated June 26th forces the General Vanier and John Paul 1 communities to move out this summer. The EMSB had hoped to be able to maintain its school buildings while the court heard the merits of the real case.

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter guarantees the English minority community’s exclusive right to manage and control its schools. Having been denied a stay or injunction does not change that fact.

“We were denied the provisional stay/ injunction – that’s all”, said Chairman Mancini. “The real merits of the EMSB’s case including whether the CAQ government violated English minority rights according to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has not yet been heard.

Today’s decision by Judge Poulin even recognizes that the EMSB has raised a serious issue to be tried and decided by a court.

The Council will meet in caucus tomorrow. “I can’t share any more than this until after Council meets and decides how to move ahead. As the officials duly elected by the English community, the EMSB Council of Commissioners takes its responsibility to protect its stakeholders very seriously. Much deliberation is needed in the coming days. But this is far from over. The EMSB is analysing its legal options to have its rights recognized.” Mancini said.

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