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Forum 2023: Keynote by Russell Copeman, QESBA + Town Hall – Changes in Education Sector (K – Sec 5) [Video]

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Forum 2023: Keynote by Russell Copeman, QESBA + Town Hall – Changes in Education Sector (K – Sec 5)

This video features two sessions of the QUESCREN Forum 2023. See below for the descriptions and speakers.

The QUESCREN Education and Vitality Forum took place on Nov. 2-3, 2023, at Concordia University in Montreal, QC. In its third iteration, it focussed on current concerns and strategies for an inclusive and quality English-language education system. It provided a space for researchers, education practitioners, community stakeholders, policy-makers, and various audience members to share information, research, and best practices.

The event was made possible through the financial support of the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise. QUESCREN also receives funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, Concordia University and the Consortium of English-language CEGEPS, Colleges and Universities of Quebec.


1: (0:00 to 1:11:40)

Welcome remarks:
Brian Lewis, Professor, Concordia University and Co-Director, QUESCREN

Opening Keynote Address
Russell Copeman, Executive Director, Quebec English School Boards Association (QESBA)
Moderator: Brian Lewis

An accessible and robust education system is a crucial element in the vitality of minority-language communities. School boards serving the English-speaking community of Québec have existed since before Confederation. Initially organized along denominational lines (Protestant and Roman Catholic), linguistic school boards were created by a 1997 constitutional amendment.

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and resulting jurisprudence, guarantees the right of minority-language communities to “manage and control” their education systems. Over the years, there have been a number of pieces of Québec legislation which arguably infringe on these constitutional rights. The most recent, and most sweeping have been Bill 40 (passed in 2020) and Bill 23, which is currently before the Quebec National Assembly.

This keynote address will explore the impact on Bills 40 and 23 on the English education system in Québec, and the response of English school boards, and the courts, thus far.

Dr. Lewis is Co-director of QUESCREN, Chair of ILET, and Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University.

2: (1:11:41 to end)

Chuck Halliday, Coordinator, Community and Business, New Frontiers School Board
Cindy Finn, Director General, Lester B. Pearson School Board
Jessica Fortier, Parent Commissioner, Special Needs Advisory Committee for Services to Students with Special Needs (EHDAA) and Chair, Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), Western Quebec School Board
Lucie Roy, Director General, Riverside School Board
With the contribution of Jodie Callaghan, English Teacher, Elawsimgewei Gina’muo’guom (Adult Education), Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation

Moderator: Kate Le Maistre, Retired Chair, Advisory Board on English Education (ABEE)

In this town hall, representatives of Quebec’s English-language elementary and secondary education sector will engage in a moderated discussion about the realities they currently face and how these realities may be addressed. The audience will be invited to join a discussion regarding actions to support the vitality of English-language minority education in Quebec.

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