Christ the Teacher Roman Catholic School Division appeals Theodore case ruling
The Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) announced that an appeal of the recent decision in the Theodore court case will be filed on behalf of Christ the Teacher School Division. The decision to appeal has been unanimously endorsed by all eight Catholic school boards in the province. Although the case is specific to Christ the Teacher division, it affects all Catholic education in the province.
“The legal team representing Christ the Teacher School Division in this case has carefully reviewed the trial judge’s lengthy decision, and we believe that there are several strong grounds for appeal,” said SCSBA spokesperson Tom Fortosky.
“At it’s essence, the constitution provides the Catholic minority with the right to operate a school system in accordance with Catholic values and beliefs,” said Fortosky. “We believe that this includes the right to have an inclusive and welcoming admittance policy consistent with the church’s ecumenical efforts since the Second Vatican Council. This benefits the broader community as more parents have had the opportunity to exercise parental choice and choose a faith-based education for their children.”
The legal team feels that there were legal errors in finding that the Provincial Government has to discriminate on the basis of religion in its allocation of funding. The constitutional provision in section 17(2) expressly prohibits any such discrimination. They also believe that the trial judge erroneously interpreted several long-standing legal principles – as established by past decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada – related to the constitution.
Fortosky added, “We are fortunate that Saskatchewan has enjoyed a separate school system since our inception. Parents have obviously endorsed Catholic education by entrusting Catholic schools with the education of their children. And we’ll do everything we can to ensure that choice for faith-based education in Saskatchewan remains for future generations.”