The Ministry of Education on Wednesday named 17 regional student advocates who will assist their national counterpart, Jean-François Bernier.
The education ministry announced in a press release that the chosen individuals would “handle all complaints from students and parents, including those concerning bullying, violence and sexual abuse against students attending an educational institution.”
“With the National Student Ombudsman and the regional ombudsmen, our government has taken an important step to better protect all students in Quebec, both in the public and private sectors,” said Education Minister Bernard Drainville in a press release.
“This change will ensure a uniform process for handling complaints across Quebec and, by the same token, greater transparency, independence and efficiency in the handling of complaints. I am confident that this will directly benefit students.”
The Student Advocates will begin their activities in the fall of 2023. The new positions were created with the passage of Bill 9 on May 31, 2022.
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Applications were first screened by a selection committee, which then submitted a short list of candidates for the minister.
The Quebec government describes the National Student Advocate as an “ombudsman for education,” charged with defending the “rights of the approximately 1.3 million students and their parents” in the province.
The 17 new regional ombudsmen are Chloé Corneau, Geneviève Buist, Isabelle Mathieu, Louis Charbonneau, Caroline Audette, Johanne Vallières, Éric Bouchard, Esthel Née, Caroline Gervais, Marc-Antoine Joseph, Sarah-Beth Trudeau, Marie-Ève Dorion, Maia Aziz , Karina Brassard, Catherine Cloutier, Kim Vaillancourt and Claude Provencher.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 17, 2023.