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Quebec teachers’ union suing government for info on coronavirus back-to-school plan

October 21, 2020

Original Article:

A teachers’ union is suing Quebec to obtain documents used to prepare the province’s back-to-school plan, claiming authorities are not being transparent about the number of infections in schools.

The Federation autonome de l’enseignement filed its legal action Monday, requesting the Superior Court order the province to immediately release documents related to the back-to-school strategy and to reveal whether it has set up a rapid-testing system for schools. FAE’s request for judicial review and for an interlocutory injunction came the same day authorities reported 276 new COVID-19 infections across the province.

Roughly 246 Quebec schools have reported at least one case of COVID-19 since classes resumed in late August, Union President Sylvain Mallette said in an interview Monday.

Last week, health authorities suspended daily updates on the number of schools with cases of COVID-19, saying they were “adjusting” the system.

Quebec’s back-to-school plan, unveiled in August, has also drawn criticism from parents.

Last week a judge denied a request by a group of parents to force the province to provide an online learning option for families worried about sending children to school amid the pandemic. Only children with serious medical conditions or who live with someone at risk of severe complications from COVID-19 can be exempted from physically attending classes.

Quebec’s government has insisted that getting students back into classrooms would benefit them and their families.

The province has seen a recent increase in daily COVID-19 cases. Dubé, the health minister, said Sunday that cases have been reported in regions across the province and described the situation as “under control, but concerning.”

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