Presentation of the Judgment
The Supreme Court, in this decision, states that the right to determine the admission criteria for students of the School Board, including the possibility of admitting children of non-rights holders, is a power of a province, but one which may be delegated.
Questions at bar (regarding language rights)
“Whether a school board can unilaterally decide to admit students who are not covered by s. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”
The Yukon Francophone School Board, Education Area #23, is contesting the French Language Instruction Regulation. It contends that the regulation contravenes section 23 of the Canadian Charter because several of the provisions circumvent the rights of Francophone parents to determine themselves the admission criteria for students of the School Board, including the children of non-rights holders.
According to the Regulation, only “eligible students” are entitled to receive French language education in the Yukon. However, the School Board would prefer to lessen the admission criteria to one that, notably, would allow the school to act as a French immersion school.
The Supreme Court writes that “the Court of Appeal’s conclusion that the Board could not unilaterally decide whom to admit to its school should not be disturbed. There is no doubt that a province or territory can delegate the function of setting admission criteria for children of non-rights holders to a school board. This delegation can include granting a minority language school board wide discretion to admit the children of non-rights holders. In this case, however, the Yukon has not delegated the function of setting admission criteria for the children of non-rights holders to the Board. In the absence of any such delegation, there is no authority for the Board to unilaterally set admission criteria which are different from what is set out in the territorial regulation applicable to French-language instruction.”
This content has been updated on 7 April 2016 at 15 h 36 min.