Premier Brad Wall announced on Monday, the Saskatchewan Government will invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to allow parents and children the right to chose whether they attend a public or separate school.
Two weeks ago a Court of Queens Bench Judge ruled that non-catholic students would no longer be funded to attend separate schools.
If the ruling was allowed to stand, the province says about 10,000 non-catholic students would be forced to change schools.
Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom gives provincial legislatures the authority to override certain portions of the Charter for a five year term.
Premier Wall said while the ruling must still go through the legislation process, they wanted to announce this now to provide clarity and assurance to parents and their children.
“Those parents who are concerned about what might happen with an appeal they should know that the government of Saskatchewan will use the not with standing clause in order to protect that choice, so that it is classroom choice as usual, and school choice as usual in Saskatchewan,” Wall told reporters on Monday.
This marks only the second time the clause has been invoked in Saskatchewan, the first coming in 1986 for the SGEU Dispute Settlement Act.
The last time the clause was used was back in 2000, when Quebec used it on several acts related to education, Alberta also invoked the clause that year for the Marriage Act.