Governance / Community

Director General's Message; Adoption of Bill 40 Concerning School Organization and Governance

Montreal - Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dear parents, staff, students and members of the EMSB community,

As you are likely aware from the many media reports in recent days, Bill 40, an Act to amend mainly the Education Act with regard to school organization and governance, was adopted into law late last Friday night by the Quebec National Assembly.

This new law brings about several significant changes to the education system of Quebec, however, the immediate changes only affect the French sector.  The revisions to the English system will only begin in the fall of 2020.  More specifically:

  • whereas the French School Boards have now become Service Centres, this change will only come into effect in the English sector in November 2020;
  • whereas school board elections by universal suffrage will no longer take place in the French sector, these elections will be maintained in the English sector and remain scheduled for November 2020;
  • whereas the decision making powers of the Councils of Commissioners in the French sector were terminated when Bill 40 became law, the Councils in the English sector maintain their same status;
  • whereas in the French sector, the new Boards of Directors will be put into place in June 2020 and begin their mandate in July, elections for positions on the English Boards of Directors will only take place in November 2020.

In summary, as of November 2020:

  • all English School Boards will become Service Centres;
  • the Council of Commissioners will be replaced by a Board of Directors;
  • there will be three distinct groups represented on the new Board of Directors: parents, employees and community representatives – details to follow.

Over the course of the next few months more information about the November elections and the process involved in becoming a candidate for these election will be shared with our community.  We have plenty of time to put that in place.

For now, what is important for you to know is:

  • there will be no noticeable difference in our schools or classrooms because of Bill 40;
  • whether called a ‘school board’ or ‘service centre’, the EMSB has always provided excellent services to our schools and centres and this excellent service will remain a priority;
  • the educational and personal success of all of our students remains the primary mission and goal of the EMSB;
  • Bill 40 does not make changes to staffing, so all of the caring teachers, principals and staff who work with our students and at head office to support the schools, remain in place;

I recognize that parents and staff may still have questions about Bill 40 as this is a rather complex new law.  Our legal experts are reviewing the many amendments that were adopted over the weekend, and when we have a thorough overview, we will ensure that more information is provided to you.  Please watch our website for updates.

Thank you for your support and interest in the EMSB.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all, especially the students, a happy Valentine’s day - filled with love and friendship.

Yours truly,

Ann Marie Matheson
Director General

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