Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut January 23, 2004 - 1:51 pm

FDEA sorts out administrative mess

Lefebvre to recommend lifting of receivership order


The board of the Francophone District Education Authority appears to be emerging from the administrative chaos that saw its management put under receivership last September.

Suzanne Lefebvre, director of French programs and services at Nunavut’s department of education, who took over as the FDEA’s interim trustee on Sept. 12, told FDEA’s board she plans to ask cabinet to revoke the receivership at its final pre-election meeting next week.

“If this doesn’t go through, we’ll have to wait until the new cabinet is named,” Lefebvre said.

“Will we have a party then to celebrate the end of receivership?” joked board member Paul Landry.

“No, we don’t have any money for that!” Lefebvre responded.

The FDEA was put under receivership as a result of escalating complaints against the board from parents and members of the francophone community and even FDEA board members who cited potential conflicts, financial disarray and an overall lack of credibility. Money from the school’s budget was said to have been spent on lawyers’ fees to oppose a proposed new Nunavut education law.

But Lefebvre assured the board that its operations are back on course, unlike the past administration of the Ecole des Trois-Soleils, which racked up a sizeable deficit and a myriad of unauthorized expenses.

Finally, Lefebvre could report that auditors had finished their work examining the FDEA’s books, which now balance, despite a deficit from the past two years.

“We are not in a critical situation,” Lefebvre said. “We should be able to finish the year in good condition.”

At this week’s meeting, the school’s newly-arrived principal, Jean Morency, was also in attendance.

Morency replaces Denis Deragon, who took an extended sick leave shortly after the beginning of the school year.

Morency, an avid ice fisherman, is also a former school teacher and principal from Joliette, Quebec, who retired after 35 years last June.

“I was looking for a new challenge, and found this on the Internet,” Morency said.

Accustomed to larger schools of 600 to 800 students, Morency said he didn’t expect it would take him long to learn all the 40 students’ names at the Ecole des Trois-Soleils.

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