The English Montreal School Board held meetings Wednesday to discuss the imminent transfer of several schools in eastern Montreal.

On Tuesday Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said -- in an off-the-cuff remark during an interview on a French radio station -- he was going to transfer General Vanier, Gerald McShane and John Paul 1 High School from the EMSB to Commission Scolaire Pointe de l'Ile.

It appears the government will also transfer the Galileo adult education centre to the CSPI.

However later in the day Roberge also suggested there were other possibilities, including choosing different schools to house students with the French-administered board.

"They could rent the schools to CSPI, it's a possibility, so it wouldn't be the government who imposes the solution. But English Montreal could choose the schools that they want to transfer, they could respect the law, rent the whole school, no cohabitation and consult the community for 18 months," said Roberge.

A spokesperson for the EMSB said it's been extremely confusing because nobody from the Ministry of Education, including the minister spoke to them on Tuesday.

"Now if he's suggesting that we rent out entire buildings, move the population out, and then do an 18-month consultation. I don't see how that would possibly be discussed and decided upon in the next week or two," said EMSB spokesperson Mike Cohen. "We've already uprooted and frightened three school communities who learned [Tuesday] that it looks very much like they're schools are going to be transferred."

The EMSB is also discussing the option of a legal challenge to block the ministerial decree.


A decision on the school transfers is still subject to approval by the provincial cabinet, which is going to discuss the matter sometime between June 21 and June 24.