TORONTO, March 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One Public Education Now (OPEN) has retained Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP to apply for a legal declaration that the public funding of Ontario Catholic separate schools violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which prohibits discrimination on account of religion.
Since the Supreme Court of Canada 1987 Reference re Bill 30 decision which found the Charter of Rights did not apply to the funding of Ontario separate schools, there have been a variety of developments including Quebec’s decision to no longer fund separate schools in 1997, and a shifting legal landscape. The challenge will ask the courts to reconsider this decision.
Ontario’s publicly funding of one religion’s schools has been condemned by the United Nations as discriminatory. It has been estimated over 1 billion dollars could be saved annually in duplication and administrative costs if Ontario had one public non-denominational two-language school system. And polls consistently show a solid majority of Ontarians oppose public funding.
In spite of this, political progress has been absent. “Unlike Quebec, Ontario’s three major political parties refuse to do anything about it,” said Reva Landau, co-founder of OPEN. “That is why OPEN launched a grassroots campaign to crowdfund for a legal challenge which so far has raised over $62,000.”
Donations can be made at open.cripeweb.org