In the photograph which accompanied this article, letter-writer Charles Cahill is holding a copy of the Supreme Court of Canada reference regarding Bill 30. From his letter, however, he either has not read the court’s decision or he has chosen to concentrate on supporting clauses.
In a nutshell, what the Supreme Court said about the constitutional provisions for education is that the province has plenary ( absolute) power. The court ruled that “what the province gives pursuant to its plenary power, the province can take away … the province is master of its own house when it legislates under its plenary power in relation to denominational, separate or dissentient schools.”
I believe that the court was ruling that the province may abolish public funding for Roman Catholic separate schools and, instead, publicly fund a Presbyterian separate school system, or a Muslim separate school system, or fund the schools of all faith groups, as it wishes.
When, in 1890, the Manitoba legislature used its plenary power to eliminate the full public funding of Manitoba’s Roman Catholic separate schools, Roman Catholic Bishop Taché observed that: “… all things mundane are transient, even human laws embedded in constitutions.”
I believe the Ontario government has the legal right to fund a single school system.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist J.Mac after an April 27, 2007 letter to The Ottawa Citizen by Renton Patterson (of Pembroke), President, Civil Rights in Public Education, Inc.