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Alberta Home Education Association

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eAlert: Bill 24 Ramifications Continue Apace

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More Bill 24 ramifications occurred last week. The Alberta government is demanding that independent schools renounce their religious policies. Bill 24 was sold as enforcing certain types of clubs in schools. Now it's being used to restrict the religious basis on which many Alberta independent schools are formed.
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Bill 24 Injunction: Judgement and Our Joint Future

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judge•ment

(also judgment)

  1. the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
    "an error of judgement"
    "that is not, in my judgement, the end of the matter"
    synonyms: acumen, shrewdness, astuteness, common sense, good sense, sense, perception, perspicacity, percipience, penetration, acuity, discrimination, wisdom, wit, native wit, judiciousness, prudence, sagacity, understanding, intelligence, awareness, canniness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, cleverness, powers of reasoning, reason, logic

  2. a misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment.
    "the events of the last week are a judgement on us for our sinful ways"

 Allow me to set the stage…

There was a great deal of behind-the-scenes manoeuvering for the dates on the injunction hearing and ruling that would determine if schools would be seen as non-compliant with Bill 24. Schools had to file their paperwork by June 30, indicating that they agreed to be compliant on the form in order to successfully submit it online. Without indicating their compliance and being able to submit the form — eerily similar to the Canada Summer Jobs attestation scandal that is plaguing the current federal government — they would have to submit a paper copy instead and could expect to face the consequences. Trying to comply with Alberta Education and still remain true to their faith, the twenty-six faith-based schools listed as plaintiffs in the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) court case and injunction, and many, many more schools behind the scenes, rooted for a sliver of hope and for some time to continue being themselves until the case is heard sometime in 2019.

They were not alone. . .

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Alberta Politics

This will be a critical year in Alberta politics. We will need to be ready to respond as events unfold.

  • ​ We need to continue to build representation within the United Conservative Party (UCP), New Democrat Party (NDP), and every other political party, so that each party will invite AHEA and its members to their discussion table. It is the only way to fulfill our mandate. AHEA exists to represent our interests in government so that we can enjoy the fruits of that labour and seek to maintain the home education option.
  • It is critical that we work during this year to remain engaged in the political process and be as well informed as possible. Please keep an eye on our Political Updates page on the AHEA website, the E-Alerts that arrive in your inbox (you can subscribe to receive these at www.aheaonline.com), as well as the AHEA Facebook page. Here we can provide information on the educational platforms and statements from all the parties, as we are able. We will focus on passing on information, even when we all may not agree. As homeschoolers, I know we value the freedom of expression and the right to form your own opinion. However, as always, I encourage you to be kind and clear in your comments so that the focus is on the discussion.
  • We need to be active in each riding, in each association, on the executive, and even as candidates ourselves! The nomination of good candidates will have an enormous impact; we want representatives we can stand behind. At this point, the UCP has the most supportive policies with regard to home education. It appears that UCP nominations will be happening soon and will be staggered, so you will need to check your riding for actual dates (https://www.unitedconservative.ca). Visit https://act.albertandp.ca/events for information on NDP nominations, https://www.albertaparty.ca/open-nomination-contests for Alberta Party nominations, and https://www.albertaliberal.com/take_action for information on Liberal Party nominations.
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Bill 24 Injunction by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

As a homeschool community, we strongly support any efforts to maintain a parent's legal and fundamental rights to their children and being fully informed. This case was heard in Medicine Hat on June 20th, and is currently under advisement with a 'timely ruling' promised before June 30th. Our immediate and urgent prayers should be going up for the judge and the judgement. One of the largest court cases of our day, it has received little press from the time of filing until recently. There are actually 26 faith-based schools of differing faiths, along with individual parents and groups, including Parents for Choice in Education. John Carpay explained that, "An injunction on Bill 24 provisions would prevent these provisions from being put into force until after the Court has determined the constitutionality of the Bill." He is referring to the Bill's provisions that keep parents in the dark about their child's involvement in student groups or activities and illegal for the staff to share information with parents in all cases. These parents assert that keeping parents in the dark threatens the safety of some of Alberta's most vulnerable and at-risk students.

http://www.parentchoice.ca/bill24_pce_goes_to_court

https://www.jccf.ca/injunction-hearing-to-stay-bill-24-provisions-in-medicine-hat-today/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-albertas-gay-straight-alliance-law-faces-court-challenge/

http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/parentchoice/mailings/33/attachments/original/PCE_Summary_page_2017.11.07_-_How_does_Bill_24_isolate_children_and_control_schools.pdf?1510115864

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Trinity Western University's Recent Supreme Court Decision

This ruling is almost hard to quantify in its impact. The implications are going to reverberate down throughout the laws of our land. At stake were the freedoms of speech, religion and association and these are near and dear to the hearts of home educators, and all people who value freedoms. We encourage you to read up on the various perspectives that people are sharing. . . there are many.

Here are a few to get you started:

National Post: The Supreme Court decides that faith is now banned from Canada's public spaces

The Gospel Coalition: A Christian Response to the Trinity Western Decision

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms: Freedom of association rejected by Supreme Court of Canada in Trinity Western ruling

Danielle Smith - 770 CHQR: Trinity Western University

ARPA Canada: Supreme Court: TWU and Wall

ARPA Canada: Supreme Court rules against TWU, placing public perception over rule of law

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: Trinity Western University School of Law

And you may want to sign up for this FREE webinar that will break down the implications of the case:

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: Sign up for Webinar on Supreme Court TWU Decision

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