School Boards are es­sen­tial

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Wecan hardly be­lieve that, once again, the idea of abol­ish­ing school boards has been brought up. This time by the Lib­er­als! In power! With the usual bad rea­son­ing, low turnout. That the Le­gaults of this world spread this is one thing, that the Lib­er­als do it also is an­other.

As we men­tioned a cou­ple of weeks ago, the emer­gence of re­gional school boards in the mid-six­ties and the com­pre­hen­sive high-school was the bang­ing of the last nail on the cof­fin of nonur­ban mi­nori­ties, not only here in Que­bec, but else­where in Canada for the Fran­co­phones. There is al­ways a suf­fi­cient mass in ur­ban ar­eas, not so in ru­ral ones.

That the turn-out at the last elec­tion was less than stel­lar can be ex­plained by the sim­ple fact that the for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter was pre­dict­ing low turnout. For those who don’t re­mem­ber him, it was Dr. Bolduc, who was say­ing that if no­body showed up, it was bye­bye to the school boards.

Seems that the Lib­er­als are all for ef­fi­cacy, any form of democ­racy or lo­cal de­ci­sion mak­ing be­ing a real hin­drance. The hos­pi­tal boards are gone, with the min­is­ter con­trol­ling ev­ery­thing. At least the Sovi­ets were try­ing to cam­ou­flage their cen­tral­ized way.

Good luck try­ing to pre­serve some English at th­ese boards when the PQ takes over. But then, Mr. Couil­lard is not one to look for­ward much. He’s there for­ever.

So the new ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter is try­ing to elim­i­nate the school boards. Le­gault’s CAQ is in fa­vor. Let’s set aside the Canadian Con­sti­tu­tion for a while, shall we.

So who will de­fend the rights of English Que­beck­ers to con­trol their school sys­tem? No, it can­not be! Yes, it is: The PQ.

As was the case, way back, when Mrs. Marois fought a big part of her con­stituency to push for­ward an amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion, it will be the next head of the PQ who will have to de­fend the rights of the English com­mu­nity to con­trol its des­tiny.

Now there is an­other so­lu­tion: a fixed elec­tion date for ad­min­is­tra­tive bod­ies.

Yes, let’s have mu­nic­i­pal and school board elec­tions at the same time as pro­vin­cial ones! Too sim­ple! So let the PQ de­fend the An­glo­phone com­mu­nity. The above was writ­ten be­fore I had a chance to read for­mer BQ leader, Gilles Du­ceppe, in the Jour­nal de Mon­tréal, who ba­si­cally points out the quag­mire of try­ing to abol­ish the school boards. Abol­ish­ing the English one is con­sti­tu­tion­ally im­pos­si­ble, the French one an­other mat­ter. As Mr. Du­ceppe said, what would hap­pen when Fran­co­phones, the ma­jor­ity in Que­bec, sue be­cause they are mis­treated as a ma­jor­ity?

This is a bad idea to start with, and let­ting our lo­cal M.N.A.’s know about it is es­sen­tial.

TheDr. W.J. Klinck Foun­da­tion is grate­ful for the in­cred­i­ble re­sponse to its fall 2014 fundrais­ing ef­forts that came to a close in Jan­uary 2015. Each year the Foun­da­tion, named af­ter one of the Eastern Town­ships’ great physi­cians and hu­man­i­tar­i­ans, Dr. W.J. Klinck, dis­trib­utes a let­ter to ap­prox­i­mately 600 long­stand­ing sup­port­ers in or­der to share the needs of Grace Chris­tian and Con­naught Homes. In re­turn, the Foun­da­tion re­ceives be­tween 40 and 60 thou­sand dol­lars of much ap­pre­ci­ated and much needed dona­tions.

With sig­nif­i­cant costs of gov­ern­ment re­quired im­prove­ments to Grace Chris­tian Home (Lennoxville) and main­te­nance and tech­ni­cal up­grades to Con­naught Home (North Hat­ley), which were com­pleted in 2014, the Foun­da­tion ap­pealed to its ded­i­cated sup­port base and, for the first time in years, reached out to new sup­port­ers across the Town­ships and be­yond. The re­sponse was over­whelm­ing as the funds raised sur­passed the Foun­da­tion’s goal of $400 000 with a to­tal of $409 000 col­lected in dona­tions. Many of the donors who came for­ward were sup­port­ing the wor­thy cause of se­nior care at Grace Chris­tian and Con­naught Homes for the first time. The Foun­da­tion, on be­half of the res­i­dents, fam­i­lies, vol­un­teers, and staff of both Homes would like to sin­cerely thank the com­mu­nity mem­bers, busi­nesses, and cor­po­ra­tions that pro­vided sup­port. In par­tic­u­lar, the Foun­da­tion would like to thank Mr. Steve Al­latt and Mr. Richard Faith for their lead­er­ship, guid­ance, and their gen­er­ous ef­forts to en­cour­age oth­ers to sup­port the fall 2014 cam­paign ef­fort.

In re­cent months, the Dr. W.J. Klinck Foun­da­tion has wel­comed new Board mem­bers and has be­gun lay­ing the foun­da­tion to lead a fu­ture cap­i­tal cam­paign that will sup­port a new and ex­cit­ing vi­sion of re­newal for Grace Chris­tian and Con­naught Homes. The Foun­da­tion is also fo­cused on rais­ing nec­es­sary funds on an on­go­ing ba­sis to sup­port the Homes in their long­stand­ing char­i­ta­ble work of sub­si­diz­ing the cost of care for those who need as­sis­tance.

Lead­ing the Dr. W.J. Klinck Foun­da­tion is Stephan Elkas, sup­ported by Board mem­bers: John Wil­liam Klinck, Jim David­son, Bob Hal­sall, Nathalie Lafond, Jim Crook, and Mike Everett. The sole ob­jec­tive of the Dr. W.J. Klinck Foun­da­tion is to sup­port the on­go­ing work of Grace Chris­tian and Con­naught Homes. The Homes, which are cer­ti­fied, pri­vate non-profit, char­i­ta­ble se­nior care fa­cil­i­ties were founded by Dr. W.J. Klinck and a group of de­voted vol­un­teers. The Homes have been pro­vid­ing com­pas­sion­ate care to se­niors since 1957 and are some of the last re­main­ing elder­care homes pro­vid­ing an es­sen­tial ser­vice to the English speak­ing com­mu­nity in the Eastern Town­ships.

Cur­rently, both Homes pro­vide a full range of care in­clud­ing: in­de­pen­dent living in du­plexes at Grace Chris­tian as well as long term, respite, se­cure Alzheimer’s, and pal­lia­tive care.. Both Homes also have doc­tors on call who make regular vis­its as well as a full time Reg­is­tered Nurse, Li­censed Prac­ti­cal Nurses, and Cer­ti­fied Care­givers. To learn more about th­ese Homes or the Dr. W.J. Klinck Foun­da­tion, please con­tact the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice at Grace Chris­tian: 819-5690546 or Con­naught: 819-842-2164.

Nathalie Lafond

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