October 18, 2013

Meetings with the Québec Ombudsman

Paul Faris and Carole Cardinal recently participated in a meeting in Montréal with the Québec Ombudsman’s representatives. This opportunity was brought on by a phone call to our office for an initial meeting in Québec City about four weeks ago. Here is a summary of those meetings.

The Québec Ombudsman is an impartial and independent mediator who reviews complaints from persons, enterprises, groups or associations, who believe that they have been unfairly or improperly treated by a Government of Québec department or agency, or by an institution in the health and social services network. Based on the information and recommendations her advisors gather, the Ombudsman must then decide if these recommendations will be officially made to the appropriate department or agency.

The first meeting took place in Québec City, where Carole was able to provide the representatives with an overview of the homeschooling situation and the varying approaches used by school boards, from best practices to the more heavy-handed, including unwarranted social services involvement. It was impressive to see the amount of research they had already done on the subject. In fact, they had already ordered CCHE’s Pan-Canadian Study. They also seemed to understand why forcing public school curriculum on home-educating families just doesn’t work. Information was requested on how other provinces dealt with homeschoolers and they were pleased to hear that Paul Faris would be willing to travel to their Montréal office to provide them with a larger perspective on these issues.

During this second meeting two weeks ago, Paul did an excellent job in explaining what home education was and why there was such an impasse right now in Québec. He shared some of the approaches in other Canadian provinces. He was able to propose workable solutions that would, at the same time, maintain home-educating parents’ rights. At the close of the meeting, both representatives had a clear idea of how important it would be to have people who understand the many contexts of home education, to “evaluate” the homeschooling process as required by law. They also requested if Paul would be available as their work progresses on this issue.

The Ombudsman will be studying the issue once the representatives submit their report. While there is no way of knowing what will come of this, we are hopeful that it will lead to positive changes for Québec. 

Stay tuned for further updates.


Before Paul moved to Ottawa he assisted us in preparing to home school as we went through a crisis. Even though we were not registered with HSLDA he assisted us after hours from his home. We are now entering our eighth year of home schooling. Paul is an asset to our home schooling community in Canada. I'm so encouraged by his articles in the newsletters we receive. I look forward to these emails as well. They are an asset in our home. Thanks Paul for a job well done.

2013-10-30 by Barbara Onofreychuk

I live in the province of Quebec and homeschool here. I will continue to pray for a positive outcome from the meetings that have taken place. As I was reading this article I have to say my heart jumped for joy that there may be a positive outcome for Quebec homeschoolers. May your prayers continue for us here in Quebec. Great work Thank you to all involved.

2013-11-01 by Michelle Scribnock

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