Media Releases and Background
Below you’ll find links to our latest media releases, answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for media spokespeople.
Theodore Litigation History and Overview Historical Background Prior to 2005 Statement of Claim.
Theodore Judgement Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan.
SCSBA Statement Related to the Theodore Court Case Judgement.
SCSBA Statement Related to Government Announcement to Appeal the Theodore Court Case Judgement.
Strengthening education through choice.
Long-running Theodore court case decides non-Catholic students won’t be funded to attend Catholic schools.
Sask. government to appeal court ruling on Catholic school funding.
‘Catholicity’ is up to school board and church to decide.
Non-Catholic parents say they should have choice to send kids to Sask. Catholic schools.
Letter to the editor: It is about parental choice
Common Questions and Answers
What is this court case about?
This court case has been launched by public school divisions to challenge whether non-Catholic parents should have the freedom to choose where their children go to school. Catholic education in Saskatchewan has never been – or should ever be – schools just for Catholics. For over 100 years, Catholic education has been open and available to anyone who wants it for their children. We believe that it should stay that way.
If the Saskatchewan Government has promised to honour the status quo, why mount a defense and participate in this legal fight?
The Government of Saskatchewan has stated that it will maintain the current approach to education funding no matter the court’s decision by invoking the Notwithstanding Clause in the Canadian Constitution. As a practical matter, we would like to see a permanent, court decision on this matter because a decision to invoke the notwithstanding clause needs to be renewed every 5 years. As a matter of principle, we’re committed to appealing any court decision that denies parents the right to choose where their children learn and denies children the opportunity to grow in the welcoming and caring schools we provide.
Wouldn’t the money for this legal fight be better spent on students and resources for classrooms?
All of the money required for our defense has been raised through small contributions from donors right across Saskatchewan. None of our operating funds for schools, classroom resources and students are being used to appeal the court’s decision or mount our legal defense.
Is Catholic division enrollment shrinking so you’ve got to shore up your enrolments with non-Catholic students?
Enrollments in Catholic Schools across Saskatchewan remains very strong. Catholic education in Saskatchewan has never been – or should ever be – schools just for Catholics. For over 100 years, Catholic education has been open and available to anyone who wants it for their children. Parents have always had the ability to choose where their children learn and we’re honoured that so many choose to enrol their children with us.
If you lose this case, how will you decide who’s Catholic enough to stay and who has to go?
We don’t believe it will come to that. The Government of Saskatchewan has stated that it will maintain the current approach to education funding no matter the court’s decision by invoking the Notwithstanding Clause in the Canadian Constitution. Catholic education in Saskatchewan has never been – or should ever be – schools just for Catholics. We are a separate section of Saskatchewan’s publicly funded education system and we will remain open to any family who wants a Catholic, faith-based education for their children.
What’s at stake of the court ruling stands or is left unchecked by the Government of Saskatchewan?
Parents across Saskatchewan are relieved that the Saskatchewan Government has already committed to maintaining the current approach to funding non-Catholic students in Catholic schools. If the court’s decision was upheld, or left unchecked by the Saskatchewan Government, it would:
- Deny the right of Catholic schools to admit non-Catholic students
- Threaten the ability of parents to choose where their children learn
- Limit the education options of non-Catholic parents for their children
- Force non-Catholic parents to fund the costs of their children’s education if they choose to enrol in a Catholic school
- Displace several thousand students and their families across Saskatchewan
- Force Catholic school boards to discriminate based on religion.
Who we are
Open Catholic Education is an initiative sponsored by the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association and endorsed by Saskatchewan's eight Catholic school divisions that provide welcoming and nurturing learning environments for more than 40,000 children across the province.