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Montreal Protestant School Board Seeks Vote for Jews in School Elections

The Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal has asked the Quebec Legislature to amend the Education Act to permit the election of Jews to local school boards in Montreal and the city of Outremont, a suburb of Montreal with a large Jewish population. The effect of the amendment would be to give Jews in nine of the 11 city districts the right to vote in school board elections, to sit on the local boards and, eventually, to be appointed to the controlling Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal.

The Jews, in line with a 1928 legal precedent, do not now have the right to vote in Montreal and Outremont school elections. The Education Act excepts territory under the jurisdiction of the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal from provisions of the law that “persons professing the Jewish religion shall, for school purposes, be treated in the same manner as Protestants.”

At present, five Jews serve on the Protestant School Board by appointment of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under a 1965 law specifying that the Board should be constituted of five Jews and 20 Protestants. Most Jewish children in Montreal attend the Protestant schools. In some of the Outremont schools, the Jewish pupils are actually in the majority.