Iqaluit’s francophone parents, school commission, need unity of purpose

“It was disheartening to read recent media reports of hard feelings and conflict”


I was very fortunate to be educated in French schools while growing up in Manitoba. Being educated in French, and going to school in a 100-per-cent French environment, has given me so many wonderful opportunities.

In fact, I would never have had the chance to enjoy such a fulfilling life and career in Iqaluit if I was not fluent in French. The first position I applied for here required it.

What has made me feel equally fortunate was being able to send my children to Ecole Des Trois Soleils. Ecole Des Trois Soleils is a fantastic school that offers a French learning environment that is every bit as good as the one I enjoyed in Manitoba.

Over the years, I have learned that what has been achieved by Ecole Des Trois Soleils has not come easily. It is the result of many fine and talented people, like teachers, staff and members of the school board, working hard and working together with a common purpose being to provide a top flight education for the students.

For this reason, it was disheartening to read recent media reports of hard feelings and conflict between certain parents, teachers and the board in regards to a staffing issue at the school.

It was especially disheartening given that the staffing issue arose because the Government of Nunavut cut funding for an all-day kindergarten program, a program that the government should be encouraging instead of stifling.

With respect to the staffing issue, the board has said that it understands the problem and will work to resolve it in a way that is in the best interests of the teaching staff and most importantly the students.

Parents, teachers and school board members working together with unity of purpose. That has always been, and will continue to be the foundation of Ecole Des Trois Soleil’s success in Nunavut.

I know because I have witnessed it firsthand since my first daughter started school over 10 years ago. I would appeal to all of the parents of the school to please stand in unity with the hardworking teachers, and with the members of the school board who volunteer their time for the school that they love.

We need unity, not only to keep the school strong, but also to meet the challenges of the future such as growing the school and establishing a kindergarten to Grade 12 program that is 100-per-cent French.

Doug Garson

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