dimanche 20 juin 2010

Ruling calls imposition of ethics class "totalitarian"

In the Sunday edition of the Montreal's Gazette.

A private boys' Catholic school that forked out a "fortune" to win the legal right to teach ethics and religious culture in a non-secular manner has paved the way for other schools to do the same, a group opposed to the course says.

"Other private schools will surely apply this ruling," said Richard Decarie, spokesman for the Coalition pour la liberte en education, a multidenominational group opposed to the course.

"Since many parents and educators are against the course, public schools will then say, 'You can't apply the course to us, and not to them.' "

On Friday, Superior Court Justice Gerard Dugre compared the attempt of the education minister to impose a secular emphasis on Loyola High School's teaching of the course to the intolerance of the Spanish Inquisition.

"The obligation imposed on Loyola to teach the ethics and religious culture course in a lay fashion assumes a totalitarian character essentially equivalent to Galileo's being ordered by the Inquisition to deny the Copernican universe," the judge wrote in his 63-page decision.

Loyola High School, in taking the government to court over the issue, "spent a fortune for the benefit of the common good," Decarie said, adding he predicts the government is scrambling to avoid a mass exit from the course.

Tamar Davis, spokeswoman for Education Minister Michelle Courchesne, said the department would take some time to study the ruling before deciding whether to appeal.


"In this age of the respect of fundamental rights, of tolerance, reasonable accomodation and multiculturalism, the attitude adopted by the (education) minister is surprising," wrote [the judge].

The judgment contrasts with one issued last year in Drummondville by Superior Court Justice Jean-Guy Dubois, who rejected a request from parents seeking an exemption for their children from the course, and concluded that their right to freedom of religion was not being violated.

"This judge (Dugre) did his homework and based his decision on law," Decarie said. "Judge Dubois's decision was very superficial and not founded on the jurisprudence.


Decarie said he believes Dugre's ruling will help strengthen their case if heard before the highest court in the country.

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1 commentaire:

Anonyme a dit…

Dieu bénisse les Anglais. Je dis pas ça souvent.