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Quebec elections: new government, new issues

The Coalition Avenir Québec conquered Quebec with a firm majority in the elections of October 1, 2018. What does this mean for Quebec education?

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The Coalition Avenir Québec conquered Quebec with a firm majority in the elections of 1er October 2018. What does this mean for Quebec education?

For the liberals, who are losing power

Popular disavowal certainly has its source, among other things in education, in the first years of the liberal reign. Significant budget cuts were imposed on an already struggling school system. The Liberal troops will have to regroup and examine their conscience. In education, this reflection had started a little over two and a half years ago. The work of Minister Sébastien Proulx will indeed have had the effect of a great breath of fresh air in a school world marked by gloom. Mr. Proulx has been able to get closer to schools and those who work there. He was also able to soak up the realities in the field such as the challenges of students with special needs, those of the continuing education of teachers and the importance of implementing the right pedagogical tools.

Many would say, however, that the damage was done. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that Mr. Proulx, for many, will have been the best Minister of Education since the famous reform of the early 2000s.

For the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), which comes to power

At first, it seems obvious to me that the minister who will be appointed by the new Caquist government will have to fill big shoes for two reasons: as I wrote, Minister Proulx did an excellent job, but also, the caquistes n 'did not skimp on electoral promises in education during their campaign. Among these promises are the following:

  • Massive reinvestments;
  • Abolition of school boards;
  • Kindergarten from four years old;
  • Build or renovate schools so that they are among the most beautiful in the world;
  • Increase teachers' salaries;
  • Etc.

The task will be heavy and the challenge ambitious. In a sense, if there is one thing that is sorely lacking in education, it is certainly ambition: we cannot therefore criticize the CAQ for having it, right?

Give the runner a chance

On the side of the people in the field, we can read in particular on social networks a lot of apprehension. Before the election, voices demanded the departure of the Liberals. After the elections, almost as many are already anxious for the changes to come. Many probably feel a bit like students when they see their new teacher's name on their schedule at the start of the year and worry before they actually see it at work.

Let's give the runner the chance, who has also just won over a large part of the ridings in Quebec. The newly elected officials who will work in education will be able to count on me and on several of you, I am sure! The participation rate in these elections was low, but it remains one of the foundations of our democracy, let us not forget.

About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in social studies education (1999), a master's degree in history education (2003), a master's degree in education management (2013) and a doctorate in education (2022). He specializes in school-based change management and educational leadership. He is also interested in the 21st century competencies to be developed in education. He is a principal in a public high school and gives conferences on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in schools and the professionalization of teaching. He has participated in educational expeditions in France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book "Le changement en milieu scolaire québécois" with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the 21st century school with the same publisher. He is a frequent contributor to L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and principals as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement. He is a recipient of the Régent-Fortin 2022 scholarship awarded by ADERAE for the significant contribution of his doctoral studies to the development of practice and knowledge in educational administration.

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