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Royal Vale here to stay
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 26 janvier 2012

Photo: Marie Cicchini

Aliya Hamad, Jim Pfaus, Deborah Mas, and EMSB commissionner Albert Perez

A group of parents and EMSB commissioner Albert Perez came to the Jan. 16 borough council meeting to express gratitude on behalf of the Royal Vale community.

A motion to keep Royal Vale HS in the same building as the elementary school was adopted unanimously by the EMSB.

Perez thanked the City of Montreal and the borough of NDG-CDN for their wonderful partnership. Michael Applebaum replied that the borough got involved because “the parents expressed clearly what the need was. A school is extremely important to the vitality of a community.”

The mayor mentioned that the day after the Long-Term Planning Committee’s decision was reversed, five new registrations were made at the school. “It shows that when there are schools slotted to be closed or in question, parents decide to hold on or go elsewhere,” said the mayor. “In the end I didn’t have to show my big stick to anybody. I know the school will be here for many years to come.”

Marvin Rotrand says as city councillor he “sees the best and the worst of people. You guys are among the best. You wrote letters to the editor, worked on a petition campaign, got in all the newspapers. Albert, I think you’re a tower of strength. If anybody comes out of this looking good at the EMSB, it’s you. We thank you!” exclaimed Rotrand.

Peter McQueen thanked Perez for convincing other EMSB commissioners. “We’re going to see this school in NDG for decades continuing its excellent mission in math and science and so on,” he said.

According to Rotrand, there is a huge clientele that should be going to EMSB schools, and the English school board should have paid attention to the evolution on the island. He also warned that closing a school, as happened in Rosemont, basically extinguishes an anglophone community that has 100 years of history in that area. Besides, the borough will need more schools, as CDN-NDG may add between 30,000 and 35,000 more residents in the next five to seven years, namely in Le Triangle.

The Lester B. Pearson school board has been doing well on the West Island in terms of attracting foreign and international students to increase its enrolment.

“There is a political party in Quebec that proposes abolishing school boards. I think it’s dangerous, particularly for the anglophone community. I will do whatever I can to make sure that party is not elected. I think we all need to sit back and reflect about what happened over the last three or four months. This has been a psychodrama for the whole English community in Montreal.”

[ Marie Cicchini ]


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