MonAvenir Conseil Scolaire Catholique

MonAvenir Conseil Scolaire Catholique

Actualités Communiqué

Call for a new French Catholic high school in Hamilton

Toronto, February 11th, 2015 – On February 10th, approximately 200 parents and members of the French-Catholic community from the Hamilton region took part in an information session on the progress of the construction project of the new Académie catholique Mère-Teresa (ACMT) high school.
The call for a new school has been requested by the French-Catholic community of the Hamilton, Wentworth, and Haldimand-Norfolk region since 1990. After exhausting all possible claim options, the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (CSDCCS) turned to the legal system and, in November 2013, began legal proceedings against the Ontario government in order for ACMT to be housed in facilities truly equal to those offered to the majority. Since then, more than 300 petitions supporting this legal action have been sent to Queen’s Park.
The support from the school community enabled the case to make headway. In January 2015, as the legal process was ongoing, the ministry of Education (MOE) presented a funding offer to CSDCCS. After going over the terms and conditions contained in the funding offer, CSDCCS school Trustees and school council Presidents in the ACMT’s family felt it essential to convene a meeting with the school community and to share the terms and conditions of this funding offer.
During the information session, participants were informed that the funding granted by the MOE is not enough to ensure the construction of a new French-Catholic high school on its own property. In order to receive full funding for the project, the MOE is asking CSDCCS to establish a partnership with another school board.
The funding offer and the conditions attached were deemed insufficient and unfair towards the French-Catholic community. Parents in attendance expressed loudly and clearly their wish that CSDCCS continue to take the necessary steps to secure funding for the construction of a new school on its own property.


“CSDCCS is very grateful that the Ontario government has recognized the need for a new Catholic high school in Hamilton. In fact, Minister Sandals is the first Education Minister to recognize this need for French-Catholic students and parents of the family of Académie catholique Mère-Teresa schools. This being said, the conditions attached to secure full funding are not acceptable”, mentions Melinda Chartrand, CSDCCS Chair.
“Other school boards in the Hamilton region have received funding from MOE for the construction of new schools without having to share their school with other school partners. French-Catholic parents are expecting MOE to grant them the same rights as those granted to the majority”, states Marcel Levesque, CSDCCS Vice-President and Trustee for the Hamilton-Wentworth region.
“For over 50 years, the French Catholic community has not had a new school in Hamilton. During that time, several new schools have been built, but none to serve the French Catholic students and parents in the region.
We are tired of receiving old and surplus schools from other school boards”, states Dorothée Petit-Pas, Trustee for the Waterloo-Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk region.
“As a parent, I don’t understand why my child would not have the same rights as students attending schools in other school boards. How is it possible that we, Catholic Francophones, are receiving such offers from the MOE? No, we cannot accept these conditions. We must demand our own school, on our own property. Our children are entitled to it!”, says one of the participants, Joanne Bouchard.
CSDCCS has already taken many steps to start the construction project of a new French-Catholic high school. An offer to purchase was reached with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for a property located at 16 Broughton, in Hamilton.
Enrolment projections for the new French-Catholic high school in Hamilton clearly demonstrate the need for facilities able to accommodate 475 students. School facilities equivalent to those of the majority is an absolute necessity to serve the French-Catholic community of the Hamilton region.
A committee composed of parents and members of the community was immediately created and more than 40 people have indicated their interest in taking part. Students have also expressed their desire to serve.
Petitions were signed following the meeting and will continue to be distributed throughout the community.
École secondaire Académie catholique Mère Teresa is now home to almost 300 students from grades 7 through 12. Its feeder schools are ÉÉC Monseigneur-de-Laval and ÉÉC Notre-Dame in Hamilton, ÉÉC Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys in Brantford and ÉÉC Sainte-Marie in Simcoe.
This year the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud serves over 15,400 students in its 45 elementary and 10 secondary schools. The CSDCCS has a geographic area of more than 40 000 km2 extending from the Niagara Peninsula to Peterborough and from Lake Ontario (Toronto) to Georgian Bay and has its head office located in Toronto. Our vast network of French-language Catholic schools allows each student to belong to a French-speaking faith-based educational community and benefit from a first-rate education in a rich, fair, and inclusive learning environment.
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Information :
Mikale-Andrée Joly
Director of corporate relations
Tel.: 416.397.6564 ext. 73130 / 1.800.274.3764 ext. 73130