Two members of One Public Education Now (OPEN), a teacher and a parent, filed an application to declare funding for Grades 11 and 12 in separate schools and funding for non-Catholics in separate schools to be in violation of the Charter of Rights s.15(1) guarantee of equal benefit and protection of the law in regard to religion. The Attorney-General filed a Motion to Dismiss the Application without it going to a full hearing. Judge Myers said at the hearing of the Notice to Strike that he “had been given a lot to think about,” and he gave his decision quickly and granted the Notice to Strike.
Lawyers thought we had good grounds to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal, but we were not confident we could raise the funds for the appeal. Even if we could raise the funds for the appeal, we were not confident we could raise funds for the hearing on the merits, examination of expert witnesses and cross-examination, appeals, etc. Moreover, if we lost the appeal (in legal matters, there is never a 100% guarantee of success), it could involve our plaintiffs in additional costs for partial indemnity of the legal costs of the Attorney-General of Ontario.
We therefore decided to not appeal the Motion to Dismiss. We raised over $175,000 from many individuals so we have many thanks to those who supported us. We still have outstanding legal costs to our lawyers. So donations at our website, https://open.cripeweb.org/aboutOpen.html, or by E-transfer to email@example.com, would be appreciated.
Editor’s note: CFIC wishes to express its admiration and appreciation to Reva Landau and One Public Education Now. While this news is disappointing, we are confident that the work they have undertaken in tirelessly raising this issue will ultimately result in the elimination of this human rights abuse.