EMSB chair Angela Mancini resigns following criticism
MONTREAL -- Angela Mancini announced on Wednesday she is stepping down as chair of the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), after a scathing report called for her to be barred from reelection.
Mancini took to Facebook to share the news that she says will allow her to regain her inner peace and for her family "to regain their mom and their daughter."
Mancini was singled out and criticized in a 2019 report ordered by the Quebec government following allegations of mismanagement and ethics violations at EMSB, and shortly after, the board was placed under trusteeship. The report noted the board was unable to remove Mancini from her post despite a past no-confidence vote. In January, the board voted to cut her salary from $38,000 per year to $10,000 after she was found guilty of numerous ethics violations.
The report, which portrayed the board’s leadership as "deeply flawed," resulted in the Quebec Education Ministry calling the EMSB "dysfunctional."
Another recent report, this one involving Mancini specifically, claimed she is hard to work with. It showed relationships between commissioners at the EMSB deteriorated steadily over the years, and ethics charges were filed against Mancini for using foul language and not showing up to a series of meetings. An external human relations firm was asked to investigate because Mancini had filed complaints about others.
"The mandate of the present council of commissioners comes to an end in about nine weeks with the call of the election for the new council," Mancini wrote. "I can say with certainty that I will not be standing for re-election this November. Circumstances being what they are, I find myself having trusted a process that turned out to be an unfair one and questioning the reasons why this occurred."
Mancini said being forced to reflect amid the COVID-19 pandemic made her realize how important it is to live life to its fullest, adding that she was able to find peace during this time and is not "willing to go back to a place where that will be disturbed."
Mancini said she has much to be proud of from her time as chair, including when she represented the EMSB in its stance against Bills 104 and 86.
"My passion and commitment for a strong English public education system in Quebec is still very much with me. That is why the decision to leave is a difficult one," she wrote. "...I came across a saying that I leave you with, from an unknown author, 'There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.' For me the latter is clear in my mind and in my heart."
Marlene Jennings, the trustee of the EMSB, confirmed that she received Mancini's resignation letter Wednesday and said she wished her well.
“Angela Mancini devoted more than two decades of her life to the public education system,” Jennings said in an EMSB statement. “We thank her for her service and wish her the very best in the future.”
With less than four months left until the elections for the newly formed English Montreal service centre, Mancini will not be formally replaced as chairperson, according to the EMSB's statement. Vice-chairperson Joe Ortona, who has been highly critical of Mancini, will act as the chairperson until then.
"This the end of a long and unfortunate saga," Ortona told CTV News. "I embrace the opportunity to work in a new and transparent way at the EMSB. It’s a chance to turn the page and move on.”