Will non-status immigrant kids be starting school in the fall?
Monday morning dozens of parents, teachers and children gathered outside the Ministry of Education in Montreal demanding access to free education for non-status immigrant children. The law in Quebec currently says that non-status immigrant children or kids born in Canada but from non-status parents must pay five to six thousand dollars a year to go to primary or secondary school in the province.
"Here we have a clear example of social isolation in Quebec," said Jaggi Singh with the Collectif Éducation Sans Frontières, part of Solidarity Across Borders, the group behind the mobilization. "We are in touch with these families, there are thousands of them, and two days before the beginning of the school year the Quebec government plans to do nothing to allow these people to have access to schooling."
Singh added that Quebec was extremely behind with this law. Comparing it to Ontario, British Columbia and the United States where all non-status kids can go to primary and secondary school for free.
Solidarity Across Borders have been asking the Ministry of Education to make changes to the law for almost two years. On June 23, 2013 Quebec Education Minister Marie Malavoy announced that it was her responsibility to ensure non-status kids would attend school but as of August 26, with only two days before the beginning of the school year, there were still no details about how non-status kids can attend Quebec's schools for free.
CJAD requested an interview with the Minister of Education but she was unavailable.