Education Tag

18 Jun 2020 BC Cuts Funding to Independent Distributed Learning Schools

Updated July 14, 2020 by Levi Minderhoud The year 2020 seems to be a year of almost unlimited government spending. The federal government (as of July 8) announced that its deficit would be $343 billion this year. The government of British Columbia is also spending $5 billion on a variety of COVID-related measures. The dominant view among policymakers and economists is that government should spend, spend, spend to avoid an even deeper recession. But, apparently that fund-everything-in-sight logic doesn’t apply to independent distributed learning (IDL) schools in British Columbia. On May 4th, the...

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08 Jul 2019 Bill Hate? Bill Straight? Or Bill Dictate?

  This video brings back memories. Just the mention of those 28 private schools reminds us all of the court challenge against Bill 24. The emails. The phone calls. The Gideon Project. The appeal hearing and ARPA’s intervention therein. The requirements of the Alberta School Act added by Bill 24 caused confusion, tension, and a healthy fear about the future of Reformed education. The communication from the Alberta Education Ministry under the NDP government gave an even stronger indication that the Ministry was unwilling to back down on their demands that every...

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30 Sep 2016 Alberta’s sex-ed curriculum and “the human face of ‘no’”

Written by: David MacKenzie When Pastor Brian Coldwell, of the New Testament Baptist Church of Spruce Grove, Alberta, says “No”, he means it.  And I admire him for it. “Yes-men” don’t get it. Indeed, political sycophants find such resolve offensive. But the difference between them and Brian Coldwell, is that the latter actually appreciates concrete principle— especially Biblical principle— more than the shifting sands of political pragmatism. Brian knows there’s little to be gained, outside of eternity, for standing on Biblical principles. He’s aware that, at any point, things could go very badly for both him and the Christian schools with which his congregation is associated.
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26 Jun 2015 Public Education: Cultural Genocide?

By Kent Dykstra One of the most controversial aspects of the recently-released Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was the use of the term “cultural genocide” to describe the practice of residential schooling that took place during the 1800s and 1900s in Canada. It is defined as “the destruction of those structures and practices that allow a group to continue as a group… Specifically, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.” Much of the printed reaction to the report was a combination of self-condemnation and hand-wringing that characterizes much of the discourse on this topic. But as I read more about it, I wondered whether cultural genocide, as defined above, continues in Canada even today. Provincial governments, especially in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and recently also Alberta have been increasingly undermining parental rights in education by enforcing a view of secularism and sexuality that is at odds with the beliefs of a significant number of parents. This is done under the guise of human rights, but at its core is an assumption that the moral/cultural beliefs of the enlightened majority should be forced onto the minority. For example, over the past few years the province of Quebec went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in its efforts to force every school, including religious schools, to teach courses about religion and culture from a secular perspective. In other words, the state demanded that the religion and consciences of the parents and their children be squashed by the secular humanist beliefs of the majority. This is precisely the same assumption that gave rise to the residential schooling system.
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22 Jun 2015 Another resource for Albertans on promoting better education policy

As many of our Albertan readers know, Bill 10, hastily passed before the election with major amendments, radically reworked the Education Act, Schools Act and the Alberta Human Rights Act. Bill 10 is problematic for many reasons, principally because it undermines parental rights, threatens religious and associational freedom, and promotes nonsensical public policy. For more about the problems of Bill 10, see our earlier analysis here. Also, we encourage you to read and share this call-to-action letter mailed to all of our ARPA supporters in Alberta. We're happy to share with...

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28 Apr 2015 Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on Bill 10

The Justice Centre of Constitutional Freedoms issued a press release today (April 28, 2015) with the heading "Alberta’s law mandating Gay-Straight Alliances violates Charter freedoms". You can view it online at their website. The Centre also released a report today titled, "Mandatory Gay Straight Alliances versus Charter Freedoms". We encourage you to take a read and if you're in Alberta, send your MLA an EasyMail letter on the subject - there are 3 to choose from....

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02 Apr 2015 Bill 10 undermines parental rights and the free society

Update (April 28, 2015): The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has issued a press release stating that Bill 10 violates the Charter, read it online here. They have also released a thirteen page report that analyzes Bill 10 in light of the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling in the Loyola v. Quebec case.  Update (April 7, 2015): The PCE has issued another paper on the issue of GSAs in Alberta. This paper questions the quantity, quality, and nature of research currently being used to support the effective imposition, through legislation, of Gay-Straight Alliances on...

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19 Mar 2015 Loyola Supreme Court Decision: Parental rights and religious freedom upheld

After 12 months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision this morning in Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General), upholding religious freedom first for the Loyola Jesuit school but also more broadly for all who seek to apply their faith to the education of their children. This is a case that every independent Christian school across the country has been watching closely.  At stake in this case was the religious freedom of parents and institutions to educate children according to a worldview that might be different than that of the State education bureaucracy. Thankfully, the Court was unanimous in finding that religious communities can teach their own faith to their children from their own perspective. As you may remember, ARPA Canada led a coalition of 313 independent Christian schools and 11 post-secondary institutions to intervene in the case. The coalition was called the Association of Christian Educators and Schools (ACES) and we argued that confessional schools must be accommodated as an alternative to State-run schools. André Schutten, Legal Counsel for ARPA Canada, was in the counsel lock-down this morning and had opportunity to review the decision before it was made public. He noted the following in a press release to the media: “Our hope was that the Supreme Court would affirm hundreds of years of legal precedent that parents are the first decision-makers for their children, and that religious freedom includes the right to train children within a particular worldview. This morning, the Supreme Court has delivered.” He also said, “With this decision, the Court stood up for liberty and for parental rights. While the Court could have been stronger in some places, this is still a welcome decision.” In light of this case, ARPA Canada will be encouraging our elected leaders in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta to rethink their one-size-fits-all approach to religion, ethics and secularism. Over the past two years, these provinces have imposed a particular religious – that is, secular – worldview on all schools through Bill 13 (Ontario, 2013), Bill 18 (Manitoba, 2014) and Bill 10 (Alberta, 2015), while ignoring or suppressing the freedom of religious institutions and families. Parents ought to have the first and final say on the religious and moral instruction of their children. While the State may assist parents in educating children, they may not override parental decisions relating to ethical and religious instruction. There has been a trend towards Statism in education in Canada. This decision gives hope to parents in stopping that slide.
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