April 12, 2017
Québec Communiqué 2: Phase 1 Strategy
By now, you are all aware that Québec’s Minister of Education plans to introduce a bill this spring amending the Education Act. While we do not yet know any details, we do know that now is an appropriate time for homeschoolers to use all available avenues to voice our concerns. The legal team at HSLDA and our new president, Peter Stock, have worked out a strategy, which will adjust according to the contents of the proposed bill.
The first phase of our strategy will require all our members coming together to express their concerns to the Québec government. If homeschoolers do not speak up, our politicians will assume that due diligence has been done in drafting an amendment and will simply go along with what is presented. We have already asked the homeschooling leaders in this province to make appointments to personally visit their Member of the National Assembly (MNA). I encourage others to join our support group and co-op leaders in visiting your MNA also. Our goal is to reach each one, and we ask that our members send us a quick note with the name of the politician and the date of your visit. This will help ascertain that all ridings are covered.
Further, we ask every homeschooling family to write to their MNAs via email and postal mail to express their concerns regarding the changing legislation. It is imperative that we let them know that homeschooling is a viable educational option and that two points are of the utmost importance: choice of curriculum and flexible evaluation. Your written communication holds weight in the eyes of your elected official; by law, each letter must be read. Also, since this is a matter of legislation, you can encourage homeschool supporters (friends and relatives residing in Quebec) to also send letters, even if they are not homeschooling.
If you are a professional such as a teacher, psychologist, doctor, etc. please go ahead and write from a professional viewpoint. Many politicians are trained as lawyers, and the voice of professionals carries a great deal of weight, so they will have the reflex to take notice of professionals.
These emails and letters need to be sent as soon as possible to make our law-makers conscious of the importance of our concerns to influence the drafting process before the bill is completed. Keep in mind, that most politicians are probably only vaguely aware of homeschooling and may have preconceived ideas of what it is all about. If we do not vocalize our needs, they cannot visualize them.
To help our members write these letters and emails, we have prepared an example with suggestions to personalize it. It is best if you write in your own words, but feel free to borrow as much as you need to from the example.
We realize that this may perhaps seem inconvenient when considering your schedule. However, laws do not change every day; it is a huge undertaking and a great expense. The Québec Education Act has been in force since the 1960s, so keep in mind that whatever is changed in the Education Act could be in effect for another 50 years. Therefore, let us do everything possible to influence a positive outcome for the good of your children and future generations.
We also understand that this is a stressful event, so it is even more important to rally together. Reach out to fellow homeschoolers who might be isolated, and gather together for support. It is together that we will make a difference.
Click here to learn about the supportive research, “Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults – A Synopsis”. This 2009 study provides an in depth look at home educated young adults over a 15-year period.
The Frazer Institute Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education Research
Home Schooling in Canada: The Current Picture – 2015