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Quebec’s Upper House Approves Jewish Representation on School Board

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The long-standing struggle of Montreal Jewry to obtain a voice in the policies of the Montreal Protestant School Board was advanced today, following the unanimous approval of the upper house of the Quebec Legislature of a bill providing for Jewish representation.

The bill is expected to become law shortly, and the appointment of the five Jewish members will follow within a few days after it becomes law. The measure also stipulates that there will be a Jewish representative on the executive committee of the Protestant School Board.

Quebec does not have a public school system, and most Jewish children attend schools operated under Protestant sponsorship. While Jews in the province provide funds through taxation for the Protestant-sponsored school system, they have never had representation on the Protestant School Board.

The Private Bills Committee of the Legislative Council, the upper house, gave unanimous approval to a private bill which provides for the naming of five Jews to the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal. Under terms of the bill, the Minister of Education will consult with representative institutions of Montreal Jewry in selecting the Jewish representatives.

George Marler, a Quebec Cabinet Minister and Upper House Government leader, spoke in support of the bill. Last month, the Education Minister endorsed the measure at a meeting of the Private Bills Committee. Mr. Marler said “this is the first time we accept this new principle.” He added that he was “happy indeed to witness the realization of something I advocated for such a long time. We should have had Jewish representation on the Board for some time now.”

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