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Saskatchewan court halts funding of non-Catholics in Catholic schools

Decision has very wide implications, but RC boards withhold comment until they study it

Saskatchewan court halts funding of non-Catholics in Catholic schools

A Saskatchewan judge has ruled that the provincial government must stop paying for non-Catholic students to attend Catholic schools in the province.

Justice Donald Layh's far-reaching decision was released publicly Thursday afternoon.

It is set to take effect in June 2018, in recognition of its "significant repercussions," according to the ruling.   

Layh wrote that funding "non-minority faith students" in Catholic schools violates both the Charter of Rights and "the state's duty of religious neutrality."

The ruling stands to upend the provincial government's current practice of paying for any students who attend Catholic schools, regardless of students' religious affiliations. 

In a written statement, the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association said it was disappointed by the decision and is giving serious thought to an appeal.

"This greatly affects students and parents in Christ the Teacher School Division in particular, and families throughout the province," wrote past president Tom Fortosky. "We'll take some time to go over the 230-page decision, consult with our lawyers and process what this means for the division, for Catholic education in Saskatchewan and for all of the families who choose Catholic education."

This article continues at [CBC News] Court ruling bars Sask. gov't from funding non-Catholic students in Catholic schools

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