NEWS

Yves Bolduc says 'transformation is coming' to Quebec school boards

11/03/2014 10:39 EST | Updated 01/03/2015 05:59 EST
Quebec Minister of Education, Yves Bolduc, says the government will propose significant changes to the school board system in the next few months. 

His comments come after Sunday's school board elections. 

Going into the election, Bolduc said voter turnout would be crucial in determining the future of school boards. 

While the voter turnout for English boards in Montreal was up, turnout was down for the French boards.

With an estimated province-wide election participation rate of five per cent, Bolduc says the "status quo" is no longer acceptable.

"This weak turnout shows that the current structure does not reflect the needs of the population," Bolduc said in a statement on Monday. 

The minister would not specify what kind of changes the boards could be facing.

Voter turnout up for English school boards in Montreal

About 21 per cent of people eligible to vote in the English Montreal School Board elections cast their ballots — a strong turnout for an election that was mired in controversy.

Turnout for the EMSB election was up from the last election, which was at 17 per cent in 2007.

Despite the higher turnout for English boards, Bolduc said they would not be immune to changes.

That's despite many English voters being left off the voters' list, and long line-ups at some polling stations. 

Montreal voters re-elected the chairs of the EMSB and Lester B. Pearson school boards — Angela Mancini and Suanne Stein Day, respectively.

Stein Day told CBC's Daybreak she was concerned about voter issues. 

"I know of at least 200 people who walked away from poll at Dorval elementary because the lineup was too long," she said. 

Mancini says it's crucial to address those kinds of problems.

“Certainly … there needs to be a better way for people to transfer onto our English voter list," Mancini told Daybreak host Mike Finnerty. 

She said introducing electronic voter signup could be a solution.

Despite the hiccups, Mancini said she was glad to see the community came out to vote.

“I think people were very much behind the English school board and wanted to let the government know," Mancini said. 

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