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P.E.I.’s Edgar Gallant, proponent of French-language education, dies

High school report.
Edgar Gallant of Abram-Village, a prominent proponent of French-language education, died in Ottawa on Nov. 29, 2019. - 123RF Stock Photo

A prominent figure in French-language education on Prince Edward Island has died.

Edgar Gallant died Nov. 29 in Ottawa, said the Commission scolaire de langue française (CSLF), P.E.I.’s French-language school board.

Edgar Gallant.
Edgar Gallant.

Gallant, born and raised in Abram-Village.

Chairman of the CSLF Gilles Benoît said Gallant’s death has saddened the Island’s French-language education community.

“Edgar Gallant was a proud Acadian from the Evangeline region who returned each summer and who made the region’s residents proud during his illustrious career spanning 60 years,” Benoît said. “He knew how to express his ideas with wisdom, which enabled him to convince many folks throughout Canada of the importance of French-language education in minority communities. He has a lot of kin in our communities and in our school board. We will miss him.”

After obtaining a masters in social sciences, politics and economics at Laval University in 1949, Gallant joined the Canadian civil service where he worked for 36 years. Gallant was the Privy Council’s under-secretary to cabinet, secretary to the Economic Council of Canada and to the Council of Maritime Premiers, and also chaired the National Capital Commission and the Canadian Public Service Commission.

Gallant was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987.

After his retirement in 1985, he volunteered his time advancing minority French-language education and minority educational self-management as guaranteed by Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Each year since 2003, the national federation of French-language school boards has awarded the Edgar Gallant prize to honour a senior manager working in the field of education who, similarly to Gallant, demonstrates perseverance and promotes high-quality French-language education.

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