On Friday, November 29th, ARPA Canada, on behalf of the Association of Christian Educators and Schools (ACES Canada), filed our Notice of Motion in the Loyola School appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. As you may recall, Loyola School is appealing to the Supreme Court because the Ministry of Education in Québec has refused to allow it to teach a mandatory curriculum on religion and ethics from its own religious perspective. Instead, all schools (even independent Christian schools) must teach this religion course from a secular or “neutral” perspective.
ARPA Canada recognized how problematic such a stance is for all Christian schools across the country. Already at the beginning of this year we began work to intervene in this case in order to bring a principled and legal argument to the Court on behalf of independent Christian education from across this country. We believe that God has given responsibility to parents to properly educate their own children (either at home or through various schools) and that the State intrudes on parents’ religious rights and responsibilities when it insists not only on exactly what to teach, but even on exactly how to teach it and which worldview to employ.
The Notice of Motion which we filed (you can see a copy attached below) is the first step in this process for us. Over the course of the next six to eight weeks, one judge of the Supreme Court will review our motion, as well as the motions of 10 other groups requesting to intervene (you can see the list here). At this time both Loyola School and the Government of Québec (the two main parties in this legal dispute) will also have time to review these applications and file statements with the Court if they prefer to not have us intervene. We ask for your regular prayers that God will allow us to speak to the Court and that the judge He has selected to review our Motion might be favourably disposed and allow us to intervene.
Should we be allowed to intervene, we will then have four weeks to file our written legal arguments (called a factum). After those written arguments are filed, we will prepare for our oral arguments. The date for the hearing of this case has been bumped up to March 24th, 2014. More details will follow as we approach that date.
For more information on this case, please click here. I should also note that the entire cost of this Supreme Court intervention will be borne completely by ARPA Canada – although the association of Christian schools we built represents 315 elementary and secondary schools employing 6,600 staff and teaching 70,000 students, no school has been asked to contribute a cent. On principle, we believe our schools should be using their resources for teaching the next generation the praise-worthy deeds of the LORD, and that our role at ARPA Canada is to assist by doing the legal and political work. If you would like to support ARPA’s work, including this intervention, donations can be made by credit card online here or by mailing a cheque to P.O. Box 1377, STN B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5R4.
Thank you for your help, your prayers and your support. May God continue to richly bless you and may your schools produce a harvest of 30, 60 or 100-fold!