Petition: It's time for a referendum on separate schools

Alberta has two quite similar fully funded school systems, a public and inclusive system for almost everyone and a separate and exclusive system for Roman Catholics.

 At the beginning of the 21st century, this duplication is obsolete, unnecessary, expensive, and contrary to what we understand about personal and religious freedom, and the religious neutrality of the provincial government.

Twenty years after Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec did away with denominational education, it is time for Albertans to decide, with a single, province-wide referendum whether we want our children educated, together, in preparation for their life as adults, together.

I petition the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to conduct a province-wide referendum on the following question and to act in accordance with the outcome of the referendum: 

Do you support a single, fully-funded public school system in which all children, regardless of their parents’ religious affiliation, can be educated together in an inclusive atmosphere that is respectful of diversity and in which religious education and observances are accommodated?



GOAL: 1,044 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 774 reactions

  • Johanne Cairo
  • Herbert Wells
  • Maxwell Harrison
  • Jeff Croft
    Jeff Croft
  • Erann Watson
  • Evan Massey
    We can not afford the waste.
  • Allison Hodgson
  • Ahmad Houcheimi
  • Lindsay Smaha
  • Tiffany Santamaria
  • Sarah Kathleen Firth
  • Sarah Southon
  • Lucas Holzhaeuer
  • Karen Bilida
  • Luke Flowers
  • Kathleen Whitinger
  • Jennifer Flowers
  • Jackie Honour
  • Jennifer Flowers
  • Kent McKay
  • Raveena Dhaliwal
  • Alana Fukushima
  • Daniel Hackborn
  • Jeff Kyle
  • Kimber Lopez
  • Jocelyn Herbert
    I strongly support the creation of a single, non-denominational school system in Alberta. As immigration to Alberta’s cities continues to increase, those of non-Catholic religious affiliation or no religious affiliation are packed into the public school system, increasing class sizes, while the Catholic system has a built-in method of regulating class sizes and therefore the demand on teachers and infrastructure, all the while receiving the same amount of pooled tax money as the public system, regardless of whether or not the people paying those taxes are Catholic, or even Christian.

    This system creates an unreal picture of the true demographics of Albertan students, and opens the question of whether people are taking advantage of a religious privilege for the practical purpose of getting their children into a school system under less strain than the public schools. This bias is endemic to a situation in which one religion’s values are given tax dollars while others are not. If we, as Albertans, value fair treatment of all our children, regardless of religion, then we should not continue to fund the Catholic school system as a public institution.

    Further, the duplication of resources and infrastructure between the two school systems is simply wasteful. Granted, the initial overhaul of the system would not be easy, but the long-term gain in having a single, integrated system would outweigh the initial costs. Other provinces have already integrated their school systems, so we have the opportunity to learn from what worked and what did not in their integration processes. Why is Alberta, with its increasingly diverse demographic, resisting this sort of progress?
  • Wanda Laurin
    Sign the petition: Petition: It's time for a Referendum
  • Wanda Laurin
    Sign the petition: Petition: It's time for a Referendum
  • Wanda Laurin
    Totally support a single public education system. I do NOT support public dollars going to private schools in this province.
  • Noma Bawa