Friday, April 21, 2017

Canadian Provinces May Not Fund Non-Catholic Students In Catholic Schools

Canada's Constitution Act of 1867 (Sec. 93) guarantees Catholics and Protestants in the three Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario the right to petition the provincial government to create a separate denominational school for them when they comprise a minority in a school attendance area. In Good Spirit School Division No. 204 v. Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic Separate School Division No. 212, (QB Sask., April 20, 2017), a Saskatchewan trial court in a 230-page opinion held that it is a violation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the provincial government to provide funding for non-Catholic students at government-supported Catholic schools.  The court held that Catholic separate schools have no constitutional right to receive funding for non-Catholic students and that it violates the province's duty of religious neutrality, as well as guarantees of equality, to fund non-minority faith students in denominational schools.  Global News reports on the decision.