-English School Board Elections Postponed
Québec’s Education Minister Jean-François Roberge announced last Thursday that the provincial government passed a decree stating that the school board election process and the vote that was to take place on December 20 have been suspended until further notice.
The decision was made to ensure that the elections are conducted safely in the context of COVID-19 and to respect the “moral contract” proposed by Québec’s Premier to all Quebecers as the holiday season approaches.
This adjustment is valid for all school boards and, in the few cases where positions were to be filled in the elections originally scheduled, the outgoing commissioners/chairs will remain in their positions until the elections are held. The new date for these will soon be announced, but given the highly unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the government anticipates that they will be put off for several months.
It should be noted that the election of chairs and commissioners in English-language school boards should have taken place on November 1, 2020. However, because all the positions to be filled by an election were located in red zones, no elections were held on that date. Rather, they were to take place on December 20 for all school boards.
Of the nine chair positions to be filled, six candidates were elected without opposition and took office on November 6, 2020. As a result, two positions still need to be decided by an election, and one position remains vacant. In the case of the vacant position, a new election process will be undertaken at a later date.
Of the 95 commissioner positions, 83 were elected without opposition, seven must be decided by an election, and five remain vacant. In the case of the vacant positions, a new election process must likewise be undertaken at a later date.
--Western Québec School Board
In the case of the Western Québec School Board, this decree pertains to one ward: Ward 8, which serves Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary School, Hadley Junior High School, Philemon Wright High School, and the Hull Adult Education Centre. This ward will continue to be represented by Commissioner Chris Schaler, who will retain his role until a new commissioner is elected.
It should be noted that Ward 5, which serves Chelsea Elementary School, will continue to be represented by Commissioner Laurie Garbutt until an election date is determined to fill the seat, which was declared vacant on November 1, 2020.
All other wards of the Western Québec School Board, including the position of Chair, had acclaimed candidates who assumed office on November 6, 2020.
[Local Journalism Initiative]