The HCDSB Does Not Have a Constitutional Right to Ban Charities, Sex Ed, GSA Clubs or HPV Vaccines

BURLINGTON April 30, 2018 Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) trustees like Anthony Danko, Helena Karabela, Anthony Quinn, Susan Trites and others in the past have tried to convince a great number of people that Catholics have a constitutionally protected right to do any number of things at a school board like ban GSA clubs, books, HPV vaccines etc. 

Helping to spread this false message are people (extremists) affiliated with religious political lobby groups like Campaign Life Coalition and their legal commentator and credit union lawyer Geoff Cauchi (who has no constitutional background or qualifications in constitutional law.)

"If God's law agrees with the Supreme court or any other court then 
there's no problem. If it doesn't you're out of luck."

It's safe to say that every lawyer In Canada would agree that when a law like the Constitution needs interpretation the Supreme Court of Canada has the final word. Every other type of court in Canada is bound by law to follow what they say. The second thing to remember is that no religious law like Sharia law or Catholic Canon law  can ever override a decision of the Supreme Court. In other words you can't disobey a law in Canada by simply saying I want to do this or that because it's God's law. If God's law agrees with the Supreme court or any other court then there's no problem. If it doesn't you're out of luck.

"Like Donald Trump they seem to suffer from poor legal advice 
if in fact they have ever asked for any."

The Halton Catholic School Board is a prime example of a Board with a history of bad luck when it comes to thinking a law (Canon or Constitution) will protect the things they'd like to do. Like Donald Trump they seem to suffer from poor legal advice if in fact they have ever asked for any. They always seem to listen to extremist religious political lobbyists like Donald Trump does. In the past decade they have been pressured to ban or change all kinds of Ministry of Education initiatives from Sex education curriculum changes, Gay Straight Alliance clubs, vaccines and the most recent banning of charities because they think the Constitution and religious reasons allow it. Every ban the trustees have ever attempted for religious reasons has always ended up with them losing and being on the wrong side of history, every single time. If the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour then expect the charity ban to fail and something new spring up to take its place.

The HCDSB isn't the only one who thinks they know how to interpret the Constitution and Canon Law. Even the teachers union OECTA has been schooled by the Supreme Court on what the Constitution allows Catholics to do regarding their schools and how they operate. In 2001 OECTA didn't much like Mike Harris changing how school boards were funded arguing at the Supreme Court that section 93 of the Constitution guaranteed that changes to funding were a Catholic's right and Mike Harris had no business or right to change them - Turns out he did and they lost. 

Here are a few quotes from the conclusions section of the OECTA 2001 
Supreme Court decision regarding section 93:
  • Section 93(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867 guarantees denominational school boards in Ontario the right to fair and equitable funding, and to control over the denominational aspects of their education program, as well as those non-denominational aspects necessary to deliver the denominational elements. Although s. 93(1) uses the public school system in Ontario as a comparator for separate school funding, it does not guarantee any particular elements of the design of the public school system. The EQIA respects the s. 93 guarantees. The new funding model established by the EQIA treats Roman Catholic schools in the province fairly and equitably. Furthermore, the EQIA does not interfere with the denominational aspects, or those non-denominational aspects necessary to deliver the denominational aspects, of the province’s denominational school system.
  • The aspects approach to the guarantees of s. 93(1) therefore allows Ontario to manage its denominational education system as it sees fit, so long as it does not prejudicially affect a denominational right or privilege or a non-denominational right necessary to deliver the denominational elements of education.
  • At the time of confederation the trustees’ power was not absolute and, even although no regulations had in fact been passed in Ontario in relation to the curriculum by the time of Union, the overriding regulatory authority of the province was there by law. (the overriding regulatory authority refers to today's Ministry of Education)

"to win at the Supreme Court trustees would have to argue that without the ban the entire catholic school system would cease to exists - 
and that is simply ridiculous."

The Supreme court is saying this to every Catholic trustee in Canada - The Ministry of Education of any province can tell a school board what to do and when to do it so long as it does not bring about the end of their denominational system guaranteed by the ConstitutionIf a trustee wants to argue the charity ban (or any other ban) is a constitutional right they would have to prove to the satisfaction of The Supreme Court that whatever ban they want to implement if not allowed by the government, would bring an end to the catholic education system. In regards to the current charity ban, to win at the Supreme Court the trustees would have to argue that without the ban the entire catholic school system would cease to exists - and that is simply ridiculous.

Prediction - Catholic Education in Ontario will come to end within the next 10 years if good Catholics don't stand up and stop extremist groups from bringing negative attention to it.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your confidential tips, corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article may be published.