Category Archives for Press Release

Quebec Schools to remain closed until May 1


PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
 

Quebec Schools to remain closed until May 1
Parents understand the priority is the health of our students

Québec, March 22, 2020 — The Federation of Quebec Parents' Committees (FCPQ) and the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) welcome the government's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in Quebec and understand the decision to extend the closure of schools.

“We have always prioritized academic success, but we are currently living in an exceptional situation during which everyone's priority must be the health and safety of our fellow citizens. Parents must contribute to the effort and follow the instructions of the public health department and the government, " said Kévin Roy, President of FCPQ.

"We appreciate working with the Minister, the ministry and education partners, during this tumultuous period of time, to find solutions to reduce the anxiety levels of our children and parents," said Katherine Korakakis, President of EPCA.

Facts:
   • Schools will be closed, minimally, until May 1, 2020.
   • The end of year ministerial exams are canceled and the missed school period will not be taken over.
   • Tools and details will be announced ahead of March 30 to allow parents to help their children maintain their skills. There will be no new
      learning during school closings and activities will be optional.

“The ministry has ensured EPCA that English educational tools will also be put in place to help support parents whose children attend English language schools,” said Katherine Korakakis.

“We are committed to relay parents' concerns and recommendations and ensure that the measures in place are accessible and equitable for all, and for students with special needs in particular," concluded Kévin Roy.

The FCPQ and EPCA offer their full collaboration to continue to work with their partners in the Education sector as well as with the Minister and the ministry of Education.

Profil de la Fédération des comités de parents du Québec (FCPQ)
La FCPQ regroupe, depuis 45 ans, les comités de parents des commissions scolaires du Québec et soutient les parents bénévoles soucieux de la participation parentale au sein des écoles publiques primaires et secondaires dans le but d’assurer la qualité de l’éducation offerte aux enfants.

English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) profile
EPCA is a coalition of parent committees from English-language school boards across Quebec, representing nearly 100,000 students in the English language youth sector.

Sources :

FCPQ
Stéphanie Rochon
Responsable des communications
Cell : (581) 985-7137
Email : communications@fcpq.qc.ca

EPCA
Katherine Korakakis
President
Cell : (514) 668-8672
Email : president@epcaquebec.org 

News resources

The Suburban -Parent leadership welcomes announcement of extended closure 

Appele Press Conference – EPCA President’s Speech

English Parents Committee Quebec

APPELE-Québec Proposes Path for Breaking Impasse on Bill 40

(February 3, 2020) – Montreal, QC

Appele Press Conference - EPCA President's Speech

Good morning everyone, let me first start by explaining who we are. The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) is a corporation funded by the government of Quebec. It represents all parents in Quebec whose children attend schools in Anglophone school boards. There is a clear consensus among those parents that the priority in education is about student outcomes: to prepare our children so that they will be ready to meet the challenges ahead.

Let's be clear! We at EPCA are representing the ones who have the most vested interest in the success of our students. Do we represent teachers, administrators, bureaucrats or school commissioners?

The answer is No! We represent the voice of the parents.

The 16 EPCA directors are elected from the Parents' Committees at eight of the nine English-language school boards in Quebec. Their opposition to aspects of Bill 40 is clear, and EPCA adds its voice to call for a comprehensive consultation as a prerequisite to any substantial educational reform.

For too long, the consumer has walked in the store ready to purchase bread, the store owner has taken the money and given the consumer a bag of chips. The consumer is then told that it’s more nutritious.

Are parents truly getting their money’s worth with regards to the education of their children?

EPCA asserts that parents want a high-quality bilingual educational system that will ensure its graduates flourish in Quebec and maintains that improved student outcomes should always be the focus of any reform regardless of language and election cycle.

We do commend the government for seeing the importance and necessity of returning greater control to the consumer, who are the parents.
We are however concerned about the transition and the resources to enable the parents to succeed in these new roles.
Other concerns are the students with special needs and of course students found in remote locations.

Change is good. Change is needed. However, it must emerge under the right conditions. We know that the many other stakeholders in the educational system also have views on how to improve it. Certainly, the most central player, the Ministère de l’Éducation, has a critical role in any reform. But we believe the proposed Bill 40 fails to go beyond the Ministère and its perspective on the system. Many of the needs for educational reform are not as evident on the Grande Allée as they are on Rue Principale. We urge the government to be courageous and open this process to all stakeholders across the province. The future of our educational system is far too important to be left solely in the hands of the bureaucracy.

All too often history bears witness against the practice of rushing policy.

Should this be done without critical thought by all involved, the cost will be heavy, the majority of which will be absorbed, not by the law makers, but on the children themselves and the ones with the most vested interest: the parents.

Resources
Appele press conference link
https://appelequebec.org/2020/02/03/appele-quebec-proposes-path-for-breaking-impasse-on-bill-40/

EPCA Press Release 01-15-2020

English Parents Committee Quebec

For Immediate Release

EPCA elects new leadership

(January 15, 2020) – Montreal, QC

The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) elected a new executive during its Annual General Assembly last Saturday in Montreal.

Board members representing their respective school board Parent Committees elected outgoing Vice-President and English Montreal School Board delegate Katherine Korakakis as President, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board delegate Ailsa Pehi as Vice-President. Pierre Masson, Central Quebec School Board, was elected Treasurer.

Korakakis succeeds Rhonda Boucher who served as President for four years, thanking her fellow directors for their confidence. “I look forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead and working with the diverse and dedicated board members who are the voice of parent stakeholders in Quebec’s English public education network.”

For 10 years, Korakakis has been responsible for the development of entrepreneurial initiatives and projects under the auspices of the Quebec government’s Quebec Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
program. She has authored and co-authored guidebooks on entrepreneurship education and served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. Serving as vice-president of PME MTL Centre-Ouest and on the investment committees of PME MTL Centre and PME MTL Centre-Ouest..

Pehi is a former Sir Wilfrid Laurier school commissioner and currently serves as Vice-President of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation, and board Vice-President of the non-profit Centre d’Activités Récréatives et Educatives which serves adults with physical disabilities.

With 16 delegates elected from eight English school board Parent Committees, EPCA has worked with Quebec organizations and associations helping support parent committees with their mandates since 2009. EPCA also helps train Parent Committees and represents stakeholders’ interests to the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur.

For more information contact: Katherine Korakakis (514) 778-3722



(January 15, 2020) – Montreal, QC

The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) elected a new executive during its Annual General Assembly last Saturday in Montreal.

Board members representing their respective school board Parent Committees elected outgoing Vice-President and English Montreal School Board delegate Katherine Korakakis as President, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board delegate Ailsa Pehi as Vice-President. Pierre Masson, Central Quebec School Board, was elected Treasurer.

Korakakis succeeds Rhonda Boucher who served as President for four years, thanking her fellow directors for their confidence. “I look forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead and working with the diverse and dedicated board members who are the voice of parent stakeholders in Quebec’s English public education network.”

For 10 years, Korakakis has been responsible for the development of entrepreneurial initiatives and projects under the auspices of the Quebec government’s Quebec Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
program. She has authored and co-authored guidebooks on entrepreneurship education and served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. Serving as vice-president of PME MTL Centre-Ouest and on the investment committees of PME MTL Centre and PME MTL Centre-Ouest..

Pehi is a former Sir Wilfrid Laurier school commissioner and currently serves as Vice-President of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Foundation, and board Vice-President of the non-profit Centre d’Activités Récréatives et Educatives which serves adults with physical disabilities.

With 16 delegates elected from eight English school board Parent Committees, EPCA has worked with Quebec organizations and associations helping support parent committees with their mandates since 2009. EPCA also helps train Parent Committees and represents stakeholders’ interests to the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur.

For more information contact: Katherine Korakakis (514) 778-3722

Press Release November 22, 2019 Bill 40

Montreal, November 22, 2019
The English Parents Committee Association (EPCA) is denouncing the paraphrasing used by the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge in the National Assembly yesterday on the comments made by EPCA Vice-President Katherine Korakakis during the parliamentary commission on Bill 40.

The Minister of Education used Ms. Korakakis’s statement in his own context. “The Minister of Education used my name to try and promote his bill in the National Assembly in the wrong context,” said Vice-President Katherine Korakakis.

“EPCA is not in favour of Bill 40 and if he had listened through the entire proceeding he would have understood our position as clearly as the other Members of the National Assembly on the Culture and Education Committee.

EPCA sees no added value to student success or to our community with this bill. It should be withdrawn and all education stakeholders should have a voice in the future of our extremely successful public education system,” concluded the Vice-President.

QFHSA Post AGM press release

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Press release

April 28, 2018- The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations held its 74th Annual General Meeting at the Novotel Hotel in St Laurent. Delegates were welcomed by outgoing president, Brian Rock, and were greeted by Charles Taker on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The delegates then turned their attention to keynote speaker William Floch. Floch offered an update on the recent activities of the Secretariat Responsible for Relations with English Speaking Quebecers. Through a series of consultation townhalls and roundtable discussions, the secretariat has heard from over sixty-five (65) community groups and stakeholders in the English communities of Quebec. Areas of concern demonstrated by the community included youth retention in the regions
and Montreal, access to government employment services and programs, and access to health and social services, better access to French Second Language training and better support for English- speaking Quebecers living in poverty. The Federation offered its assistance in bringing the concerns of the Home and School membership across the province to the Secretariat’s attention.

The following resolutions were adopted by the QFHSA membership at the afternoon business session: Healthy Sleep and School Start Times, Wider Access to English Education and significant changes to the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations Constitution and By-laws.

New directors were elected to the Board along with a new president. Linton Garner will serve as president of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations for 2018-2020. Garner had served as Executive Vice-president from 2016-2018 and was ready to step into the shoes of Brian Rock. He is currently the Executive Director of the Regional Association of West Quebecers and a Director on the Board of the Quebec Community Groups Network.

Garner’s first duties as president were to present three of the major QFHSA awards at the Banquet later that evening. Receiving the 2018 Gordon Paterson Award was Steve Dubinsky, music teacher at Westwood High school; the Pat Lewis Environmental Award was presented to the wonderful Willingdon Elementary School community and the Pat Lewis Humanitarian Award was presented to Rhiannon Sparkes, an educator at Dorset Elementary school.

Rickhey Margolese, long time volunteer with Home and School at the local, provincial and national level, received the 2018 Canadian Home and School Federation’s Lifetime Membership Award.

The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations is an independent, incorporated, not for profit volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the education and general well-being of children and youth. The QFHSA promotes the involvement of parents, students, educators and the community at large in the advancement of learning and acts as a voice for parents.

In 2019, Home and School will be celebrating the support of parental involvement in education in Quebec for 100 years and the federation will be celebrating 75 years of activity. For more information on the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, visit their website at: www.qfhsa.org

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Office of the Commissioner of Languages Annual Report 2017-2018

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Rapport Annual 2017-2018

Madame, Monsieur,
C'est avec grand plaisir que je vous informe que j’ai déposé mon rapport annuel 2017‑2018 devant le Parlement ce matin.

Cette édition du rapport annuel présente l’ensemble des activités du Commissariat aux langues officielles et dresse un portrait des activités en matière de langues officielles du gouvernement en 2017-2018. Le rapport se divise en trois grands chapitres thématiques, à savoir les activités entourant le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération canadienne, les recherches et les interventions du Commissariat ainsi que les diverses initiatives mises en œuvre par le Commissariat et par les institutions fédérales en lien avec les langues officielles

Dans le rapport, je formule deux recommandations. La première vise l’avancement de la mise en œuvre des recommandations provenant du rapport du greffier du Conseil privé sur la langue de travail. La seconde recommande à Patrimoine canadien et au Conseil du Trésor de revoir les outils d’évaluation du rendement des institutions fédérales en matière de langues officielles.

Encore cette année, conformément à notre engagement environnemental, nous optons pour une édition uniquement électronique, que vous pouvez consulter sur le site Web du Commissariat. Bonne lecture!

Annual Report 2017-2018

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am very pleased to announce the release of my 2017–2018 annual report, which I tabled in Parliament this morning.

This annual report presents an overview of my office’s activities and describes some of the government’s actions regarding official languages in 2017‑2018. The report is divided into three thematic chapters: the 150th anniversary of Confederation; my office’s studies and interventions; and various initiatives taken by my office and by federal institutions regarding official languages.

I make two recommendations in the report: the first concerns the implementation status of the recommendations contained in the Clerk of the Privy Council’s report on language of work, and the second calls on the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the President of the Treasury Board to review the tools they use to evaluate federal institutions in terms of official languages.

Again this year, in keeping with our commitment to the environment, we are publishing only an electronic edition of the annual report, which is available on the Office of the Commissioner’s website. I hope you have an enjoyable read!

Raymond Théberge
Commissaire aux langues officielles |Commissioner of Official Languages

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Considerations for the proposed Bill 144

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September 7, 2017

The English Parents Committee Association (EPCA) is conscious that Bill 144 is outside the realm of its mandate but is also aware that some parents who home school their children do so because they have left the public school system for a variety of reasons.
Society needs to respect the decision of some parents to home school their children. Parental choice is a core value of English parents in Quebec: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” (article 26 (3) from the United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

EPCA is a strong proponent of data-driven decision making and it supports efforts to register home schooled children. Registration should also bring value added benefit to the registrants and home schooled children. This could include an online repository of resources of teaching materials that reflect the Quebec Education Plan (QEP), available to home schooling parents. This is particularly important for English speaking minority in Quebec that has a wide array of outside resources available but may not necessarily reflect the QEP.

EPCA encourages MEES to seek input from these parents, the primary stakeholders; parents who have chosen to home school as they understand their children best. The home schooling associations should be recognized and funded, to facilitate them with dissemination of resources that would assist parents to best integrate home schooling of their children with the QEP. Some level of flexibility is needed so as to adjust to the specific needs of each family and not have them fall into a “one size fits all” solution. EPCA would also like to ensure that legislation be enacted without incurring growth in bureaucracy and limiting potential litigation costs. Monies spent on education in Quebec must impact students first, including home schooled students, and not reduce educational services currently offered in our public schools.
It is the parents’ wish that MEES continues to assist in developing projects and new policy initiatives that will have Quebec's students’ best interests at heart, that will help foster better student engagement by harnessing different learning styles and enhancing and valuing the teaching profession.

For more information, kindly communicate with EPCA President: Mrs. Rhonda Boucher by telephone at 514-778-3722 or by email at president@epcaquebec.org

Concrete Measures to Increase Student Success

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Québec, November 30th, 2016 - Today, the English Parents’ Committee Association is proud to join forces with the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec, as well as our other partners representing parent groups.

Concrete measures to increase student success

We continue to advocate for our suggestions on improving student success that were found in our Bill 86 brief:

1. Commitment to teacher professional development.

2. Added support mechanisms for school administrators.

3. Improved Governing Board training.

Budget cuts to education over the years have been particularly hurtful to the official linguistic minority public education system and are compounded by Quebec's restrictive language law limiting enrollment into English public schools. This has negatively affected the availability of resources needed to deliver quality pedagogy to all our students. This has also put additional pressures on our inclusive, government recommended integration model for children with special needs.

We urge the government to move forward on the delivery of quality programs and services that will elevate teaching practices to help raise overall student success. We also note that the desire of focusing on results and system efficiency must be balanced with the ability to harness individual strengths and aspirations of each student.

Need for investment in education

• Increase funding of pedagogical programs

• Restore and increase funding of technology

• Increase funding for children with special needs

Law 105 finally brings forth the provision of the right to vote by commissioners who represent parents. We appreciate this new right for parents at the top levels of School Board governance. This will undoubtedly bring forward a new dimension of proximity and immediacy to serving the interests of the local school populations and community.

We would like to see the Government put forward concrete plans that deal with student success, teacher support and the necessary funding allocations for resources to programs and services.

Parents in the English sector have been “rolling up their sleeves” and volunteering in schools for years. We seek pragmatic solutions and are open and willing to work on initiatives that will improve our public education in Quebec.

We ask that the collective rights of the official linguistic minority be protected. Our specificity and historic distinctiveness is intricately woven into our society. Our children are indispensable to Quebec's future success.

For interviews or further information, please contact Rhonda Boucher, President at 514-778-3722.

Rhonda Boucher EPCA President

 

EPCA is pleased with the passing of Bill 105

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Montreal, November 2016 – The English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) is pleased to announce that Bill 105 was passed in the National Assembly today. Amongst the biggest change, Parent Commissioners will now have the same rights, including voting rights, as Commissioners that were elected at large, and this will come into effect in 30 days.

EPCA will be examining the amendments made to the original bill and looks forward to working with our member Parent Committees and Governing Boards during this transition period. Our mission will be to ensure that our parents, the largest stake holders in education, are prepared to take on the extra responsibility in an informed and efficient manner.

For further information, please contact Ms. Rhonda Boucher, EPCA President Tel. (514) 778-3722 or e-mail info@epcaquebec.org.

EPCA’s Position Regarding Recommendations made by the Elections System Study Panel (Jennings Report)

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

Montreal, September 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) wishes to detail its position in regards to each recommendation made in the Final Report of the Election Systems Study Panel.

EPCA represents Central Quebec School Board, Lester B. Pearson School Board, Western Quebec School Board, Sir Wilfred Laurier School Board, Riverside School Board, Eastern Shores School Board, and New Frontiers School Board.

Our mandate is to advocate for and represent the parents of our member School Boards PCs and CPCs.

EPCA’s position to each recommendation in the Election Systems Study Panel Report is as followed:

  1. EPCA wishes its parents’ constitutional rights be respected and protected.
    • a. EPCA supports Universal Suffrage, with the exception of the election of the Chair of the Commission of Council.
    • b. Should there be an end to the existing School Board election system, EPCA presented to the Minister in June alternatives to gaining representation on School Board commissions (Alternative Universal Suffrage).
  2. EPCA agrees that the English Minority Communities’ current system of English School Boards with Parent Commissioners elected through their electoral colleges be maintained.
  3. EPCA agrees that the English School Boards’ Parent Commissioners be legally vested with all of the rights, responsibilities and duties of Commissioners including the right to vote.
  4. EPCA recommends that Parent Commissioners hold the majority of seats on the
    Council of Commissioners.
  5. EPCA agrees that the English School Board elections being conducted through online, telephone and mail-in ballots is a favorable alternative of Universal Suffrage, as proposed to the Minister by EPCA in June.
  6. EPCA agrees that English School Boards be given the legal authority to collaborate with their French School Board counterparts to revise voter lists for School Boards on their territories.
  7. EPCA agrees on all points that the voter registration be modified for English minority community potential voters so that:
    •  English Minority tax payers who pay into the English School Board system are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • Graduates of English public high schools are automatically registered to the  English School Board voting list;
    • English Minority youth who turn 18 are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • Parents of children who have graduated from an English public High School are automatically registered to the English School Board voting list;
    • In the event that the Québec government does not implement ESSP recommendations 6 and 7, that voters in English School Board elections have the ability to identify their respective School Boards and be registered to vote for the appropriate candidates by showing proper identification on the day of the
      elections at their polling station.
    • a. Employees of the School Board cannot sit on the Council of
      Commissioners.
    • b. No government appointees to the Council of Commissioners are accepted.
  8. EPCA recommends that each School Board have the option of having a non-voting seat available to a Cycle II student, by whatever means they see fit.
  9. EPCA has advocated for mandatory training of Commissioners and members of Governing Board for many years.
  10. EPCA agrees that ethical and conflict of interest guidelines be included in  the Education Act.
  11. EPCA agrees that current opportunity for Councils of Commissioners to co-opt community Commissioners with specific expertise be maintained.

We must bear in mind that many of our school boards cover huge areas and encompass many different communities. This being said, many of our communities are not only represented by parents, but also by community representatives who represent the Anglophones without children in the system but have the right to vote in the English School Board present election system.

These representatives from these communities should definitely be elected by Universal Suffrage as they represent their respective communities. EPCA stands firmly behind this notion.

This would bring a wider variety of representation especially from our outlying regions, a
representation that the Anglophone community is entitled to under the Canadian
Constitution.

For additional information and/or interviews: Mr. Angelo Grasso, Director General of EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or director-general@epcaquebec.org.

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