I’d Rather Schools Buy Fewer Books, says Education Minister

I’d Rather Schools Buy Fewer Books, says Education Minister

Quebec City (Quebec) August 23 – Questioned about how he believed school boards should react to government cuts to their budgets, Education Minister Yves Bolduc found himself in hot water yesterday as he nonchalantly expressed a belief that schools should simply buy less books, saying:

Children aren’t going to die from that and it won’t stop them from reading, because there are already plenty of books [in school libraries].  I’d rather they buy fewer books. Our libraries are well-equipped.

This off-the-cuff statement came as the Education Minister explained he’d decided he would no longer require schools to devote a certain portion of their budget to buying books, and was almost immediately a source of controversy, especially among school librarians, already barely making ends, and bookstore owners, for who schools represent a significant source of income. This also sent mixed messages as Minister of Culture and Communications Hélène David has previously made statements assuring bookstore owners that she’d protect their market.

The government was quick to clarify that M. Bolduc’s statement did not constitute the Liberal Party’s official stance, and M. Bolduc’s office issued a statement shortly thereafter stating that the Minister misspoke.

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