Martel takes Nun’s Island debate

October 28, 2014

The Nun’s Island owners and residents’ committee (Association des propriétaires et résidants de L’Île-des-Sœurs APRIDS) held an all-candidates meeting of people running for the Marguerite Bourgeoys school board last week.

The two candidates for chair, Diane Lamarche-Venne and Max Martel both participated, as did their Nun’s Island candidates, Véronique Tremblay and Caroline Varin and independent candidate and current commissioner Pierre Labrosse. The debate took place on Tuesday, October 21st at 7 p.m. in the Elgar Community Centre.

For his part, Max Martel made it clear that he wants to make major changes at the operational level of the school board if he’s selected as chair.

All the infrastructures in schools are underutilized,” he said. “Under my leadership, the infrastructure between a municipality and a school would be co-managed for optimum use.”

Current chair Diane Lamarche-Venne emphasized her experience and understanding of how school boards run.

We already have fifty different partnership agreements in place now,” she said. “I’m confident that more will be worked out in collaboration with partners, including the borough.”

She also dropped a bombshell to the Nun’s Island audience.

The poll on September 30 that determines how many students are in each school shows that the there’s no need for a third school on Nun’s Island prior to 2018 and 2019,” she said.

Local borough politicians insist that a third school should be in the planning stages now, but so far, the school board has not requested land. Lamarche-Venne’s statement explains why not.

The entire room erupted in speech and questions, but Martel silenced them with a single comment which emphasized the promise he has made to Nun’s Island parents and the borough of Verdun.

If it took five years [to open a school on the island] last time, we have to start now,” he said.

The position is part of the reason why Verdun Mayor Jean-François Parenteau publicly backed Max Martel and his team in Verdun, including commissioner candidates Caroline Varin and Stefana Lamasanu. Parenteau spoke on behalf of all the Coderre party borough representatives as a team. The three Projet Montreal councillors in Verdun did not take a similar party-wide decision, although it’s known that the individuals involved back the Martel candidates.

Less than thirty people listened to the presentation, among them candidates from other ridings, including Jean-Pierre Boivin, who is running on Lamarche-Venne’s team in the LaSalle north district.

I consider my function as a school commissioner to be somebody to help the schools to succeed with their educative projects,” said Boivin. “Especially in Cote St. Luc where 70% of the students of the French schools are allophones. We must help them keep their identity and integrate into society, all at the same time.”

Less than thirty people listened to the presentation. Organizer Daniela Villabora, the APRIDS president said that many of the people she invited won’t be voting in the election because they want school boards eliminated.

For more information about the Lamarche-Venne team, refer to their website. For more information about the Martel team, refer to their website.

Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.

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