Staff at English Montreal School Board questioned by UPAC investigators

UPAC investigators have questioned at least one staff member at the international program of the English Montreal School Board, as the investigation and audit of it and Montreal's other anglophone school board over "irregularities" continues.

In the past few weeks, two investigators from the anti-corruption squad questioned a staff member of the board's international vocational school for several hours, CTV Montreal reported Tuesday.

Among the lines of questioning, the staffer was asked over the number of international students being accepted into the program, the courses they were taking and work-hours needed to pass them, and what stages or internships the students were undertaking as well as how they were being supervised.

The staffer told UPAC they were ordered flat-out to fail none of the students, many of whom are from China with little to no English skills, because the program was so lucrative for the board.

The EMSB and the Lester B. Pearson School Board are both being investigated by the province's anti-corruption squad and being audited, due to 'irregularities.'

EMSB spokesperson Mike Cohen told Bell Media on Tuesday the board was not aware any staff had already been interviewed.

Cohen admitted many of the students in the program arrive without a grasp of English, but are pre-screened for basic literacy skills and have access to tutors, online language courses and translators.