Summary

38332

Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia, et al.

(B.C.) (Civil) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case) (Sealing order) (Certain information not available to the public)

Keywords

Canadian charter (Non-criminal) - Canadian Charter - Minority language educational rights - Application of s. 23 of Charter where number of eligible students is insufficient to offer full educational services - Manner of placing number of students of French-language school on sliding scale where that number is lower than number of students of neighbouring English-language schools - Test for assessing whether parents receive that to which they are entitled - Whether Province can force school board to prioritize capital projects to remedy breaches of s. 23 - Whether courts below took account of impermissible considerations in their s. 1 analysis - Whether damages are appropriate and just remedy for infringements of s. 23 in this case - To extent that it applies to school board’s capital projects, whether facility condition index used by British Columbia Ministry of Education to assess capital projects infringes or denies rights guaranteed by s. 23 of Charter in manner not justified under s. 1 of Charter - Whether requirement imposed by British Columbia Ministry of Education that school board prioritize its capital projects to address breaches of s. 23 of Charter infringes or denies rights guaranteed by s. 23 in manner not justified under s. 1 of Charter.

Summary

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The appellants alleged that the Province of British Columbia had infringed the minority language educational rights guaranteed by s. 23 of the Charter by underfunding the French-language education system. They sought various orders that would require the Province to change its funding method for French-language education, to immediately remedy the problems associated with the inadequate educational institutions in several communities and to compensate the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique for the Province’s failure to adequately fund French-language education in the past.

The appellants were partially successful at trial. The trial judge declared that some of the Province’s administrative procedures for funding minority language education unjustifiably infringed the rights protected by s. 23 of the Charter. She also awarded damages for a Charter breach based on the Province’s failure to adequately fund the transportation program for a period of 10 years. The appellants’ appeal was dismissed, the Province’s cross appeal was allowed and the damages awarded were set aside.