June 15, 2017 7:44 am

Charter challenge targets Ontario’s separate school system

A group claims Ontario's separate school system violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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A group that is trying to challenge the legal status of separate school boards in Ontario says it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Adrienne Havercroft, an occasional teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB), is with a group called OPEN (One Public Education Now) that supports one publicly funded school system in Ontario.

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Havercroft is a plaintiff in a legal challenge against separate school funding in the province and says because she is not Catholic she does not have access to one-third of the publicly-funded teaching jobs in her region.

READ MORE: Students can opt out of religious classes at Ontario Catholic school after complaint settled

OPEN says at the same time, the HWCDSB receives only about seven per cent of its operational funding from residential property taxes from separate school supporters and about 78 per cent of its operational funding and all of its capital funding from general provincial revenues.

Havercroft says people should believe what they believe but doesn’t think Ontario taxpayers should fund a religious-based school system.

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A 2012 study by the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario found that merging public and Catholic school systems would save up to $1.5 billion a year.

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