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Tom Fortosky

  • In a unanimous decision, Saskatchewan’s highest court has upheld the right of Catholic schools to receive provincial government funding for non-Catholic students.

    The ruling stems from a legal dispute almost 20 years in the making. In 2003, Good Spirit School Division closed the only school in Theodore, Saskatchewan. In an effort to keep a local school, parents worked with Christ the Teacher Catholic School Division to open a Catholic school. As a result, the public school division took the matter to court.

    This decision overturns the 2017 ruling that sought to limit public funding for students who choose to attend Catholic schools in Saskatchewan but lack a Catholic baptismal certificate. The initial ruling ran contrary to the inclusive values of Catholic education and undermined the educational decisions of parents.

    “This appeal decision confirms what we have said and believed all along: parents know what is best for their children and they should be able to choose Catholic, faith-based education if that is what they want - no matter their reasons, faith backgrounds or traditions,” explains Tom Fortosky, Executive Director for the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association.

    Although this ruling is based in Saskatchewan, it speaks to the rights of all Canadian students and their parents.