Union groups lose round in battle for rapid screening in Quebec schools

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A Quebec teachers' union group has lost a round in its court battle to obtain a rapid screening plan for COVID-19 in schools.

The Superior Court rejected the request by the Federation Autonome de l'Enseignement (FAE) for a provisional injunction, filed on Sept.15.

The FAE claimed that Health Minister Christian Dube had promised to offer a fast track for students and school staff to obtain coronavirus testing. The union group was asking the court to order the government to follow through on what it considers a commitment.

The Superior Court ruled that the words attributed to Dube "taken as a whole and their context do not allow the conclusion" that he "offered a clear and unequivocal promise to the members of the FAE and to the parents of the students."

The court also determined that offering accelerated access to testing in education would require a reallocation of resources, the repercussions of which would be difficult to predict for other sectors of society.

The court reiterated that this is a ruling on the request for an interim injunction and it does not amount to a decision based on the merits of the case.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2020.

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