Victoria B.C. - On Thursday April 7th, during morning Question Period, Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, will question the Minister of Education about the inability of French students in Vancouver to access equivalent educational services as their English counterparts, as they are constitutionally entitled to.
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Province wide, the francophone schools run by the Francophone School Board, the CSF, report being over-crowded, run-down, and often find themselves in precarious tenancy arrangements.
In 2001, Rose-des-Vents Primary School was temporarily placed on the site of Vancouver's future French-language secondary school. Fifteen years later Rose-des-Vents is still on site with inadequate facilities and no serious prospect of change.
In 2010, a group of Vancouver parents with children attending the Rose-des-Vents primary school took the CSF and the provincial government to the BC Supreme Court. They petitioned the court to declare that lack of equivalency between the RDV school facilities are those offered to English parents living in the same catchment area constituted a breach of section 23 of the Canadian Charter which guarantees that people whose first language is French, or who have received their schooling in French, have the right to have their children educated in either English or French. The court ruled in their favour but was subsequently appealed by the province.
In an April 2015 Supreme Court of Canada reinstated the BC Supreme Court ruling and declared that a Section 23 infringement had taken place. It was the parents hope that this would bring all parties to the table to find a solution, but the province has continued to fight the rulings. They are now seeking a Section 1, “reasonable limits”, justification of a Charter breach.
BC supreme court judgment on the petition 2012 BCSC 1614;
Appealed by the province of the BC Supreme Court judgment 2013 BCCA 407;
Appealed by the parents of the Court of Appeal decision, Supreme Court of Canada Judgement 2015 SCC 21
Media Contact for Rose-des-Vents
Joe Pagé, a Rose-des-Vents parent and lead plaintiff in the court action so far
1 604 264 4380