Election campaign: when will we talk about education?

Election campaign: when will we talk about education?


Voices are multiplying to denounce the almost non-existent place occupied by education in the electoral campaign while the school network is struggling to recover from the pandemic.

“It seems to me that when it's a priority, we don't wait three days before the vote to talk about it,” says Sylvain Martel, spokesperson for the Regroupement des committees de parents autonomes du Québec (RCPAQ), impatient. /p>

For the past few days, many players in the field have been impatient to see subjects related to education so rarely percolate into the great general conversation of the election campaign.

A conference of virtual press bringing together several management and parent associations will take place on Friday. 

No response

At the end of August, the RCPAQ sent a series of questions to the five main provincial parties. 

This is also what says Catherine Harel Bourdon, mother of three and president of the Movement for a Modern and Open School (MEMO), who notably denounces a system that discourages the involvement of parents and the community in schools.

“They say it takes a village to educate a child. But where is the village? What role do we want to give it? she says.

Ms. Harel Bourdon was one of the most visible figures in the world of education as President of the Montreal School Board, until the abolition of the system. francophone school democracy at the beginning of 2020.  

“It worries me and it questions me,” she says about the little place given to education.

< p>To date, she has received concrete responses from the Liberal Party and Québec solidaire and acknowledgments of receipt from the CAQ and the Parti Québécois. Nothing from the Conservative Party. 

Mr. Martel only received acknowledgments of receipt.

Le Journal contacted the parties to obtain their reaction. At the time of publication, only the Liberal Party and Quebec solidaire had responded. Both specified that the RCPAQ will soon receive its response.


“We disagree with the statements made by the organizations regarding the fact that education occupies an almost non-existent place,” said Alexandra Régis, of the PLQ's communications team, by email.

The two parties mention that many commitments in education appear on their platform and that several announcements on the subject have already taken place.

But for Stéphane Vigneault, founder of the École ensemble movement, it is difficult to find an “inspiring project” through all this “tinkering”. 

Like the MEMO, the École ensemble movement would like the issue of school segregation and the three-speed school to be addressed in the electoral campaign. 

“It's a bit like 'each school for oneself”, abounds Mrs. Harel Bourdon. “What is the plan, beyond putting money into hiring staff or renovating outdated schools? »

École ensemble has also launched a campaign on the web to encourage the organizers of the leaders' debates which will take place in the coming weeks to include questions on education.

“Education is the second the largest budget item of the Quebec state”, recalls Mr. Vigneault. 

State of emergency 

Meanwhile, the School principals are concerned about the scale of the work that awaits the system to recover from the pandemic, with the shortage of staff and the probable increase in dropout.  

“Is the government aware of the difficulties we are encountering? I think not. I think that the state of emergency in which we find ourselves on a daily basis is not completely understood, ”worries Kathleen Legault, president of the Montreal Association of School Principals. 

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