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
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!
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!
Commissaire aux langues officielles |Commissioner of Official Languages
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com.
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:
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
For additional information and/or interviews: Mr. Angelo Grasso, Director General of EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion
Montreal, December 14, 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) denounces the proposed Bill 86. Upon a cursory glance, the proposed Bill 86 has an outward appearance of greater parental presence within each school board's decision-making body, but after careful examination, many clauses mitigate perceived gains.
We, as parents, fail to see how the proposed legislation will help sustain English minority schools, which are renowned to have some of Quebec’s highest retention and academic success rates.
In spite of EPCA having met with the Minister of Education twice to discuss governance issues, almost none of the recommendations were considered or acted upon. In fact, only one of our recommendations was addressed yet mitigated by other measures introduced in the proposed bill.
The EPCA intends to consult with its member Parent Committees and Central Parent Committees to consider where to go from here.
EPCA will also partner with other English community organizations in order to confer with them on this matter.
Source: Angelo Grasso
Director General of EPCA (514) 778-3722
PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion EPCA Elects New President Montreal, November 2015 – The English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA) is pleased to announce that Rhonda Boucher, Western Quebec School Board Parent Commissioner, EPCA Director and EPCA Vice-President, was elected President of the EPCA following elections held on Saturday, November 14th . The elections took place during the EPCA’s Annual General Assembly on this date, where Mike Nalecz, Lester B. Pearson School Board Parent Commissioner and EPCA Director, was elected Vice-President. Andy Simon, Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board EPCA Director, was re-elected as Treasurer. The EPCA’s Board of Directors would like to thank outgoing President Pierre Chouinard for his time, contribution and dedication to the Association. For further information and contact please call (514) 778-3722 or e-mail email@example.com
For immediate diffusion
The future restructuring of School Boards’ Council of Commissioners
MONTREAL, July 20, 2015 – On June 23, 2015, the English Parents’ Committee Association of Quebec (EPCA) met with the Minister of Education, François Blais, to explain its position on future changes to governance of Quebec’s school boards’ Council of Commissioners.
The guiding principle behind the proposed restructuring of what is now School Board Councils is to create a Council that has a majority of its seats occupied by parents. It is the EPCA’s contention that parents have only one agenda, quality education for their children, and as such are best suited to make decisions that impact the students.
The following points are included in our proposal :
Minister Blais was also reminded that the English school boards took nine of the 13 top graduating rates, including first place. It was suggested that the existing internal method of policy development through collaboration of teachers, principals, senior administrators and parents through standing committees be a model developed across the province as is the case for its member English school boards.
At that same meeting, the Minister was asked to consider that since 1990 the English community had led the way in integrating special need students without additional government funding. Given the annual rise in special need enrollment, the EPCA requests that additional financial support be provided in this sector.
Our organization intends to provide an information session on these and other topics in the later weeks of August 2015. At this session, parents from across the province will be present to answer questions on their local impact issues.
About the English Parents’ Committee Association (EPCA)
The English Parents’ Committee Association is a coalition of parents’ committees from English-language school boards across Quebec, representing nearly 85,000 students in the English language sector in the province. EPCA is the sole representative body of Quebec English parents’ interests to the Ministry of Éducation, Enseignement supérieur et Recherche. Through its member Parent Committees, the EPCA assists and supports parents by providing education and, when necessary, advocacy, on more regional matters. For more about the EPCA: http://epcaquebec.org/about-epca/.
For additional information and/or interviews: Angelo Grasso, Director General of the EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.