Parents of EMSB disabled kids want Liberals to buy them a building

Concerned merger of two schools will hurt their vulnerable children

PHOTO: emsb.qc.ca

Parents of blind, deaf and disabled children are concerned a merger between two schools belonging to the English Montreal School Board will overcrowd their children and put them at risk.  They’ve written a letter to the Education and Health Ministers calling on them to intervene and buy them a building.

The MAB Mackay Rehabilitation Centre (MMRC) is asking their tenants, blind students at the Philip E. Layton School, to move out of their Sherbrooke Street West building by July 1, and into their Mackay Centre for Deaf and Disabled building on Decarie.

But parents, like Joanne Charron, say space is an issue and the building on Decarie is open to public, putting their vulnerable kids at risk.

“These are severely physically compromised children, a cold can kill some of these kids, it’s a security issue,” Charron said.

The parents want the new Liberal government to step in and help the EMSB buy the building, so they can stop renting space, or build them a new one.

They say that shouldn't be too much to ask because they invested $16 million for children needing the same services on the French side.

“We have the mandate for all the province of Quebec, to service the English sector, the handicapped, disabled children, we’re the only schools that do it,” Charron said.

The education ministry told CJAD the EMSB needs to apply for the financing and it would check on the application process.

The EMSB confirmed they recently found out about the application and are in the process of completing it.

The EMSB found out about the move in July 2011 and have since negotiated with three different governments — two Liberal and one PQ.

In the meantime, the EMSB says the MMRC could make room at the Decarie building, but are not recognizing their needs.

The MMRC says it needs that space for its administration and staff.

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  1. Jo posted on 05/22/2014 09:01 PM
    The newly formed Liberal government has said that they will be concentrating on Health, Education and Disability. We are all of those. We have asked for an intervention. Is anyone listening? Is anyone out there? We can judge a society and it's leaders by how they treat the most vulnerable...how will you lead? We are already on our third government with this issue and our future is still hanging in the balance. How is that possible?
    1. Enzo posted on 05/23/2014 01:56 PM
      @Jo Joe,

      How can you justify dumping all over the newly-elected government over this? These people are all new to their jobs. How about giving them the courtesy of looking into these issues before making statements like "We can judge a society and it's leaders by how they treat the most vulnerable...how will you lead"

      Nobody reacts well to being unfairly badgered like you are doing now - BACK OFF and give the new minister some time to react.
  2. Catherine Jarvis posted on 05/22/2014 10:44 PM
    Thank you for drawing attention to this important issue. Let's make sure these children have a safe and accessible place to learn.
  3. Peter posted on 05/22/2014 11:20 PM
    This is where the government needs to step in and mediate, find solutions and implement for the well being of these children and parents. This has become a business issue more than an education and health issue. This has been going on for more than 2 years and has worn out already worn out parents and it's teachers. Basically evicted from one building and pretty much bullied in another.
    Well let's see what the liberals have to say and do on this one!!
    Don't give up !! Together we will succeed for the future well bring of our children.
  4. April posted on 05/22/2014 11:55 PM
    It's bad enough that most of these kids do not fit in to what society's view of what it means to be "perfect", "able" or "normal". To live in a world where you're viewed by what you can't do rather than what you can. Imagine not being able to communicate effectively with your own brothers or sisters...Now imagine a place where you can move freely through the entrance without having to have others make a big deal about holding a door, or a place where teachers and support staff use technology for your voice to be heard or where they are able to sign to you to ask you how you are feeling.

    Mackay Centre School has been a home away from home for so many of it's clients. It has been the gateway for to parents being able to communicate with their child.

    Most of all Mackay Centre School has been a place that parents will hear the wonderful news of what their child can achieve despite what medical reports may have told them at the time of their child's birth.

    How can we expect these students to learn and to grow if they are being crowed together? How can they feel like they have wings to fly if they are constantly being clipped down to make room for more administrative office space, some of which is not even occupied and sits empty on reserve. This is shameful and is an embarrassment for a province that is so developed in social services, how can we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear on those who need support the most?

    Give Mackay a safe, secure school, it's the least we can do for these precious kids.

    Thank you CJAD for reporting this critical information, please keep it alive. I'd love to hear your Gang of Four discuss this matter as well as Arron Rand, he once helped Mackay Centre School out years ago when the computer room was broken into. He raised an incredible amount of money through listeners who either payed to have him play Uncle Cracker's "Follow Me" or they gave him money not to play it any more. Anyway I'm sure if Arron visits he will notice the change in atmosphere. So many of your hosts have had positive impacts and engagements with this school over the years, now's the time Mackay Centre School need the most help. Thank you
  5. Chris Eustace posted on 05/23/2014 06:00 AM
    May 23, 2014


    'Jo' asks : " We can judge a society and it's leaders by how they treat the most vulnerable...how will you lead? "

    Attending an event at the Chateau Frontenac , in Quebec City, under the guise of professional development, will certainly not help.


    The Quebec English School Boards are holding their Spring Conference with the AAESQ at this posh hotel , which costs the taxpayer a pretty penny .


    Last weekend , the President of the Treasury Board, Martin Coiteux, blasted school boards for their lavish spending at the Chateau Montebello.


    In this matter, the government should immediately intervene and do the right thing.

    Most people would prefer to see their tax dollars go toward a new school for these children, rather than on adults to have a good time , which certainly has no value for any school, classroom, or student .


    Chris Eustace
    1. Enzo posted on 05/29/2014 04:12 PM
      @Chris Eustace This is hardly the lace for a campaign speech, albeit in written form
  6. Ann Paraskevopoulos posted on 05/23/2014 08:05 AM
    As the mother of a mackay special needs student, I know what having a school like mackay means to so many families. Mackay represents safety, security and peace of mind to so many parents, parents who live every day with extra challenges worries and difficulties that parents of kids who are not disabled don't need to! Every parent and every child should have a school that is safe, our special and vulnerable children are no different!! The government can find money to support other countries in need, to fund many other charities and causes all over the place!! It is time to step up and support their own children in need!!! Is this too much to ask?? I think not! Our children need a school suited to their needs, the government needs to do the right thing NOW!!!
  7. Ali Khalil posted on 05/23/2014 09:24 AM
    This is really disgusting of what is happening to these helpless kids and no government or MNA is coming to rescue them.
    I am sure if the the prime minister, or misisters or the MNA's have problem with their kids at their school; all hell will broke loose and they will pour in grant after grant to ensure for their kids.
    Its sad and pathetic on the part of elect governments after governments.....
  8. Paul posted on 05/23/2014 08:38 PM
    The government has money for the following:
    1- Language police officers to oppress business and people.
    2- Unnecessary breast implants for teen girls with poor self-images.
    3- Operations for unnecessary sex changes for those who can not accept the gender they were born into.
    4- Money to promote cultures not from here (Carabana for example).
    5- Promoting multiculturalism instead of asking immigrants to adapt Canadian values.
    6- Abortion clinics to murder unborn children.
    7- Quebec Charter of Values.
    8- Out of waked wages for cleaners in the metro.

    There are many more stupidities like these, but a school for children with special needs are not a high priority for the Quebec government to help out. It shows that in truth, some have more rights than others and that is unacceptable. These kids deserve better especially since we know the government have the funds for a new and much needed building.
    1. Enzo posted on 05/29/2014 04:15 PM
      @Paul What do any of these points have to do with any school? And you may be anti-abrtion mut many of out here are not. This 53 yr old male will not tell a woman I do not know what to do with her own body. It is her choice NOT MINE to make
  9. mp posted on 05/27/2014 09:40 AM
    It's impossible for these parents to care for these children alone.. Mackay is a center which protects these children and they can be as normal as they can be..The government is obligated to care for these children as this is what the majority of the people want.. We worry about other countries and right here in Quebec there are children in need...Let take care of our own first....Build them a new building and stop this shenanigans. This is the right way to do things with compassion.
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