APUPIL Questions Trustee Legal Campaign Expenditures - IDEA

Reposted from APUPIL:

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Education Advocates Demand Answers on Catholic Trustee Legal Expenditures

APUPIL: Albertan Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning.

ALBERTA - APUPIL – a coalition of Albertans proposing the unification of the province’s separate and public school jurisdictions -- is surprised to learn that the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) has made a contingent commitment to intervene in the Trinity University case, should it go to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Today (November 20th) on International Trans Day of Remembrance, we remember the fact that St. Albert Catholic spent $367,000 litigating against a Trans Teacher that they fired. Despite new legislation (Bill 24) reiterating the call for staff and students to be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it appears Alberta Catholic Trustees are attempting to litigate in favour of their "right" to discriminate.

APUPIL is surprised & concerned to learn the ACSTA have essentially withheld Alberta taxpayer dollars from the classroom to get involved in an issue outside our province, & certainly outside the obvious purview of ACSTA.
  1. The members of the ACSTA have withheld $430,000 from the classroom, to fund legal action and, of this $430,000.00, there is no limit on the amount they may commit to the Trinity case.
  2. The Trinity case has no direct application to Alberta’ separate school jurisdictions, for three reasons —
    1. Trinity University is a private school and Alberta’s separate school jurisdictions are a statutory civil institution — they are not private schools;
    2. Trinity University is a post-secondary institution and the issue is about credentialling lawyers, while Alberta’s separate schools are K - 12 institutions that do not credential professionals;
    3. There is no system of separate school education in B.C. so there is no relevant B.C. legislation to that may be interpreted to reflect on Alberta’s School Act.
It appears to us that, separate school jurisdictions having withheld $430,000 from classrooms across the province, they are about to use the money to make a political point that will not change their circumstances in Alberta at all.
APUPIL calls on the Minister to ensure the ACSTA:
  • makes transparent all expenditures made with taxpayer dollars including any other cases the ACSTA are contesting
  • does not seek intervenor status in cases outside of their mandate
  • Reiterates support to all Catholic Boards that they are not to fire sexual orientation or gender identity staff or discriminate against transgender families.
  • Reiterate that Catholic Canon Law does not apply to separate schools as they are civil democratic institutions.
Luke Fevin

Earlier this month, ourIDEA launched a petition calling for a referendum on the continuance of separate Catholic school boards.  

“The recent provincial budget revealed serious on-going financial shortfalls for the provincial government.  In education, this raises questions about duplicating administration and infrastructure costs when the money could be re-directed to the classroom for better service to students or reduced costs to parents.  Imagine how much further school fees could have been reduced without the current cost of duplication.” – David King, Former Education Minister

SPECIAL EVENTEDMONTON, On November 27th at 7PM, ourIDEA will be hosting a panel discussion and conversation with the audience on the future of Separate School Boards with panelists David King, a former Minister of Education in Alberta, parent advocate Luke Fevin and former Catholic School Trustee Patricia Grell.  Everyone is welcome, and an RSVP is requested – University of Alberta (Telus Building Room 150) (For tickets please visit: www.ouridea.ca/kinglecture)

Visit www.ouridea.ca/referendum to sign the petition and learn more.  

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Visit www.ouridea.ca/referendum to sign the petition and learn more.  







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