Category Archives for Press Release

ComECH Quebec Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 25, 2018 – (ComECH-Quebec)

Major Parties Want Votes of Minority Communities but Refuse to Stand-up for a History Curriculum that Reflects their Positive Contributions to Quebec Society.

September 24, 2018

Montreal, QC – The Committee for the Enhancement of the History Curriculum in Quebec (ComECH-Quebec) will hold a press conference on September 25th at 10:00AM at the English Parents’ Committee Association office (7875 Chemin de la CĂ´te-de-Liesse). We will report on the responses we received to a letter outlining ten specific problems with the current history curriculum and asking the main political parties if they agree that each was a problem and whether they are willing to act to correct this problem. 

The letter was accompanied by a document containing excerpts from the secondary four textbook providing concrete examples of the problems identified in our letter. The letter was sent to the leaders of the PLQ, CAQ, PQ, QS and PVQ as well as the candidates for these parties in the ridings of Laurier-Dorion, Mont-Royal-Outremont, Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Saint-Marie-Saint-Jacques and Westmount-Saint-Louis.

ComECH-Quebec chairperson Robert Green expressed disappointment at the tepid response the letter received. “Each of the major parties have been courting the votes of Anglophones and other minority communities and yet neither the Liberal, CAQ, PQ nor QS leadership is willing to speak out about a history curriculum that eliminates the positive contributions of any minority community from the curriculum.”

According to Green, this should be an election issue: “In considering who to vote for, members of minority communities should be aware that the leaders of the major political parties see no problem forcing their children to endure two years of ethnic nationalist propaganda that sends them a clear message that they are second-class citizens.”

According to Green, this problem has academic implications for students from minority communities: “As a teacher I know that my students have a better chance at success when they can make personal connections with the curriculum. By writing the positive contributions of minorities out of the program and neglecting local history the government is systematically putting all students from minority communities at an academic disadvantage”.

Green also expressed disappointment at the lack of response from major party candidates running in ridings representing large numbers of citizens from minority communities.

“None of the candidates from major parties running to represent the large Jewish community in Mont-Royal-Outremont were willing to agree that it is a problem that the textbook represents a complete whitewash of Quebec’s history of antisemitism; none of the candidates running in the ethnically diverse riding of Laurier-Dorion were willing to agree that it is a problem that the textbook re-enforces Islamophobic stereotypes and reduces the contribution of immigration to replenishing the labour market; none of the candidates running in the primarily Anglophone riding of Westmount, including Liberal candidate and President of the Quebec English School Boards Association, Jennifer Maccarone, were willing to agree that it is a problem that the textbook demonizing the entire Anglophone community as a monolithic block of elites. It is a shocking lack of courage and principles we are seeing from these candidates.” said Green. “These candidates claim to want to see minority voices represented in the National Assembly but refuse to stand up for them being represented in the history curriculum.”

However, Green pointed out that the letter did receive some positive responses. In addition to a supportive response from QS candidate for NDG, Kathleen Gudmundsson, our letter received several supportive responses from Green Party candidates, including party leader Alex Tyrell.

“The Green Party was by far the most supportive of our letter. Alex Tyrell was the only party leader willing to commit to changing the curriculum to reflect the values of an inclusive democratic society”, Green said. “We were also particularly impressed with the strong words of support offered by Westmount Green Party candidate Sam Kuhn and NDG Green Party candidate Chad Walcott.”

Finally, the members of ComECH-Quebec want voters to consider that recent changes to the history curriculum have occurred in a context of rising xenophobia in Quebec society.

“Political parties in Quebec have in recent years shown an increased willingness to pander to xenophobic sentiments in the population. By remaining silent about this highly problematic curriculum, they are now signalling their willingness to have the provincial history curriculum politicized in order to reproduce such xenophobic views in the minds of young people. This is a very serious issue for the future of our society,” warned Green. “Those who believe in a Quebec that is open, democratic and inclusive of its minority communities, should think long and hard about this issue before casting a vote”.

About the Committee for the Enhancement of the Curriculum of History in Quebec
ComECH-Quebec is an ad hoc committee created by the English Parents’ Committees Association (EPCA), Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations (QFHSA), and the Quebec Association of Geography Teachers. The Committee is chaired by Westmount High School teacher Robert Green.

Contact: For more information contact Robert Green at 438-878-8398

Enclosures: Letter sent to parties and candidates; Documents from Secondary 4 Textbook; Quebec’s Secondary III & IV History Curriculum: In Need of Change

QFHSA Post AGM press release


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:


Office of the Commissioner of Languages Annual Report 2017-2018

Office of Commisioner of Official Languages logo
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





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

Concrete Measures to Increase Student Success

PRESS RELEASE For immediate diffusion

QuĂ©bec, November 30th, 2016 – Today, the English Parents’ Committee Association is proud to join forces with the FĂ©dĂ©ration des comitĂ©s de parents du QuĂ©bec, 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

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 QuĂ©bec 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
    • 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

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

Proposed Bill 86 fails to consider English parents’ concerns

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

EPCA Elects New President

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

The future restructuring of School Boards’ Council of Commissioners


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 :

  1. All School Board Councils consist of a voting majority of parents
  2. The Chairperson of these councils be a parent elected by the council
  3. Two alternatives to the election of all council members that would replace the costly existing process
  4. That no member of the council be nominated by any level of government, including municipal
  5. That all members of the council undergo a mandatory training
  6. That the terms of office for members be staggered to assure consistency during transition periods

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:

For additional information and/or interviews: Angelo Grasso, Director General of the EPCA, (514) 778-3722 or