MONTREAL -- English language school boards in Quebec celebrated a win on Thursday when the Quebec court of appeal voted in favour of suspending Bill 40 until the Superior Court hears the case.

The bill -- which aims to turn school boards into service centres -- was challenged by the Quebec English School Board Association (QESBA) who said it would cause "irreparable prejudice to English language school boards if it was put in place," according to executive director Russell Copeman. 

"We're delighted with this ruling today," Copeman said at a press conference on Thursday. 

Copeman said the courts appear to have accepted that the board's lawsuit "raised serious constitutional issues." 

"The practical implication of that is English-language school boards continue to exist and if the government inists on holding school board elections on the first of November, then those elections must be held based on the current school board model," Copeman said. 

Geoff Kelley from APPELE-Québec hopes the government will prolong the mandate of English school boards' current commissioners by one year. 

"(To) avoid an election in pandemic, we can take the time for the Superior Court to hear the case on its merits, and after that we can move forward," Kelley said. "Today is a great day for the defence of minority rights in Canada and in Quebec."