Province introduces bill to protect school choice in Sask.

By CJME News Staff
November 8, 2017 - 6:00pm

The province introduced legislation Wednesday to invoke the notwithstanding clause in regards to a court ruling on catholic schools earlier this year.

In April, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled that it was against the constitution for the province to fund non-Catholic students who go to Catholic schools.

In a release Wednesday, the province said it was invoking the clause to “protect parents’ choice in where they send their children to school.”

The court ruling would force up to 10,000 students to move schools and has an impact on other faith-based schools such as Luther College, Regina Christian School and Huda School.

The new legislation will maintain the current funding model.

The Saskatchewan government stated the ruling, set to come into effect on June 30, 2018, would be a “significant disruption to the education sector.”

“The current system has served us well for more than 100 years, and parents and students wish to preserve it,” Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said in a news release.

The government of Saskatchewan and Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic Separate School Division have each filed appeals on the ruling.

The notwithstanding clause allows provinces to override sections of the Charter of Rights and freedoms for a limited time, which has the effect of nullifying any legal decision.

The notwithstanding clause offers school boards a five-year reprieve from the ruling. There would need to be a vote to renew the clause after that time period.

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