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.