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The EMSB Council Of Commissioners Hired A Legal Firm To Challenge Bill 96

"Bill 96 violates the English-speaking community's right to management and control of its educational institutions," the EMSB stated.

Associate Editor
The English Montreal School Board.

The English Montreal School Board.

On May 24, the National Assembly of Quebec officially passed Bill 96 in a 78 to 29 vote — and many anglophone institutions aren't too happy about it, especially the English Montreal School Board.

On Friday, May 27, the EMSB put out a press release stating that they have hired a legal firm to contest Bill 96.

Bill 96 has been set in place to protect the French language in Quebec, and while the EMSB "supports the protection of the French language in Quebec, including by providing strong French immersion programs that support its students in graduating as fully bilingual Quebecers, measures to protect the French language in Quebec cannot violate the constitutional rights of Quebecers," the school board said.

EMSB Chair Joe Ortona said that "the contestation is based notably on s. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and Part V of the Constitution Act, 1982."

The English Montreal School Board stated that they believe that Bill 96 violates the "English-speaking community's right to management and control of its educational institutions," (under the previously mentioned section 23). Other concerns of rights violation include undermining "the rights of Quebecers to legislation of equal authority in English and French and to use either English or French in the courts" (under section 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867).

With Bill 96 implementing measures to protect the French language within Quebec's educational system, mainly in CEGEP — where it could, among other things, restrict the number of francophone students allowed to enroll in anglophone institutions — it comes as no surprise that the biggest English school board across the province isn't too keen on the passing of the bill.

"I wish to invite other anglophone institutions and any organization interested in basic human rights to join or support this legal proceeding," stated John Ortona.

At the present moment, the EMSB Council of Commissioners has mandated a legal firm to move forward with legal proceedings to challenge the validity of Bill 96.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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