The Court of Queen’s Bench in Medicine Hat published a decision in the matter of Parents, Independent and Religious Schools v Alberta Minister of Education today. In a somewhat scathing review of evidence provided by the applicants, the Judge denied an injunction on behalf of the schools to comply with the School Act. In particular, the Judge cited the fact that legislation, Bill 10, had been in effect since 2015 without challenge.
Bill 24 supporters at the request for an injunction hearing, June 20, 2018 ~photo credit Deirdre MacLean
In item , the Judge referenced three Supreme Court of Canada decisions which ruled in favour of children learning about the diverse society in which they will eventually become adults. All three cases specifically noted that children are not harmed by learning about other human beings who may very well be their neighbours, project partners, employers and employees.
We live in a diverse society where some people may be atheist, agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and so on. We also live in a society where we accept differences and personal expressions of those differences. Religious freedom may be available to all but, as the representative from the Calgary Sexual Health Centre pointed out, children are not often offered the choice of where they receive their education. No child should be undermined because of their parents’ beliefs.
This decision is only the beginning, according to what I overheard in the courtroom on June 20. For now, independent and religious schools must comply with the School Act. Kids win this round; celebrate accordingly 🙂