Your Local Journal Dear Editor: – March 6, 2014 (Menaces to democracy)

On St. Jean Baptiste Day, June 24, 2010, I wrote to all Members of the National Assembly that I had been barred by the chairman of the Pearson board from asking questions or making comments at the public Question Period – a practice I had been doing for about 11 years.

Among other things, I made reference to the board’s Vision Statement which states to work in “an atmosphere of openness, honesty, integrity and accountability.”

My complaint was titled:” On Democracy, Bill 88 and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.”

Fast forward to November 2013, when the new chairperson decided that she also had enough of me at Question Period and also barred me.

Both chairpersons, in my view, are menaces to democracy.

Both abused their authority, which resulted in a violation of not only the school-board’s own policies, but also the clear and often repeated legislative insistence that individuals, in our society, should not be denied their democratic right to express opinions.

A few days ago former Education Minister Michelle Courchesne clearly said in a speech concerning school board elections that boards should accept criticism because that is the democratic way.

Her Bill 88 dissuades school board secrecy and encourages constructive criticism.

It is a pity that Lester B. Pearson School Board past and present chairpersons, have not grasped the concept of true school board democracy.

Chris Eustace