Quebec education minister denounces EMSB's 'stubbornness' over Galileo issue

Quebec's education minister isn't backing down on his refusal to accept the Galileo Adult Education Centre as a way to ease overcrowding at schools belonging to the French language Pointe-de-l'île school board.

In a statement to CJAD 800, Jean-François Roberge said they strongly condemn the EMSB's stubbornness in this file.

Last night, EMSB commissioners voted to transfer the Galileo centre to the french board and move special-needs students elsewhere against Roberge's wishes.

Roberge said their position hasn't changed - that displacing highly vulnerable students is not a suitable answer to respond to the needs of the french board.

Roberge said the process of transferring three EMSB schools is still on and the EMSB has until June 10 to forward their comments or alternative proposals.

Dissatisfied with the lack of progress in the file, Roberge issued the ultimatum May 10 in a letter to the EMSB which posted it on its Facebook page.

Roberge said he would use special administrative powers to transfer three schools from the English Montreal School Board to the french language board: General Vanier elementary school and John Paul I junior high school in St-Léonard and Gerald McShane elementary school in Montreal-North.

Frank Pettinicchio's 34-year-old son goes to Galileo.

"I can't say I was surprised but I'm still incensed by the insensitivity that this board has shown to these adults," Pettinicchio told CJAD 800.

"I don't want anyone's school to close. I was a parent commissioner  20 years ago on that board and I fought like hell, I was on Alliance Quebec, so I get it. But the answer isn't to screw over some very vulnerable adults"

Roberge said it's not too late for negotiation - that an agreement by both boards can ward off the transfer.

The Pointe-de-l'île board tells CJAD 800 they are not closed to any option but they have to see how this proposal would work for their needs.