Quebec’s new education minister says he believes he can convince Anglophones that they won't lose control over their schools even if they do give up electing those in charge.

The CAQ’s plan to abolish school boards – including the nine English boards – has been met with resistance by groups who say the English-speaking community's right to control its school boards is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Quebec English School Boards Association, among others, has made it very clear that the CAQ will have a legal battle on its hands if it tries to scrap the boards and the elections that allow the community to control school boards. It issued a news release Thursday afternoon on the matter.

In it, the QESBA president said he was "dumbfounded" to hear Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge say in a French radio interview Thursday that he has been speaking to stakeholders and that once they listened to what the CAQ plans to do, they agree.

Roberge was forced to clarify later in the day that he had spoken to some teachers and principals informally at an event but reiterated that the CAQ intends to go ahead with the changes.

Roberge says the CAQ is not afraid of a legal battle.

“We will respect the constitution, of course,” said the education minister. “It’s their right to think what they think. You are free to speak and free to think, of course. But we have checked, and we did our homework, and the law that we will write will respect the rights of the Anglophone community and the constitution.”

QESBA said it believes it can change the CAQ's mind -- it confirmed on Thursday evening that it has an upcoming meeting with Roberge.

The government has put forward a 2020 deadline to abolish school boards.