Board chairman statement out of line

The Quebec government is expected to make a decision quite soon concerning the access to English schools matter - the Bill 104 issue.

That said, the Montreal Gazette of May 11, 2010, features an editorial: "A neat compromise on school language" , an article : "Future of linguistic survival pegged to bill", and a front-page piece headed: "Most back allowing choice in schooling."

In the latter piece, Marcus Tabachnick, chairperson of Lester B. Pearson school board and former long-time president of the Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA) states:

"The average 30-or 35-year old today has a very different view of language than does the average 60- or 70 year old."

As card-carrying member of an "Old Age Security" tag (over 65) with grandchildren attending the two English Montreal Island school boards, I take exception to Mr. Tabachnick's remarks.

I was the only one to speak at both Question Periods at the English Montreal School Board and Lester B. Pearson School Board council meetings, in March. I spoke on the Bill 104 matter. I guess, in a way, I was the ‘Public'.

Hence, here are my thoughts on Tabachnick's comments.

The QESBA squandered many opportunities to speak out since 2002 when Bill 104 became law but chose to say nothing. Worse, the association claimed and reported everything was fine on the English front.

This is evidenced by the lack of any concern about Bill 104 in three major papers of the QESBA: "Advisory Council on the Future of English Education" (2006) ; "Bouchard-Taylor Report" (2007), and the "Forum on the Future of School Boards" (2008).

Furthermore, Tabachnick said, "I don't care about Bill 104 - the problem is bigger than that." (Gazette, "'Give us oxygen,' board pleads," April 13, 2010)
Now in The Gazette, May 11, "Future of linguistic survival pegged to bill", Tabachnick reveals, "This is not just about schools. This is about the future of the anglophone community in Quebec."

No, it's not.

It is about the survival of the QESBA whose hypocricy is so palpable that it has become an embarrassment to the English community.