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Alberta Home Education Association

Keep up to date with everything going on in our province!

Education Act Amendments Forthcoming

Education Act Amendments Forthcoming

While most school work is wrapping up, Hon. Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange is getting down to business after these first few weeks of settling into her office and up to speed. She continues to have as her Deputy Minister Curtis Clark, who has been in this ministry for quite some time.

The UCP had promised pre-election to read in the Education Act that had already passed the required three readings and was ready to be enacted. However, it will not be introduced as is. This Monday, the Minister is scheduled to introduce Bill 8 – Education Amendment Act, 2019 with a second reading scheduled for this Thursday afternoon. What will these amendments entail? We have yet to find out.

What we do know is that everyone is brushing up on their familiarity with the Education Act. Interestingly, the President of the Public School Board's Assoc. for Alberta is publically calling on the Minister to delay the implementation for 1 year, as they would like more time to review it and further consultations. The issue of growth funding for increased student counts is looming large as well, and that is anticipated to be tackled on Monday as well with Bill 6 being introduced – the Appropriation (Interim Supply) Act, 2019 by Hon. Minister of Finance Travis Toews. Again, we shall see.

The AHEA Board is reviewing the Education Act and looking forward to seeing what type of amendments Minister LaGrange is going to table. This will be a revealing indication of the direction that she is going to pursue. I encourage you to be in prayer for us as we look to advance the interests of home education and resist bad law being enshrined. We also ask that you pray for Minister LaGrange, that she is able to be a strong advocate for the parental rights and responsibilities that she has worked so hard on over the years.

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Our New Minister of Education

Adriana LaGrange - AB Minister of Education

Jason Kenney's choice for Education Minister was greatly anticipated since the news that the people of Alberta elected a UCP majority government. Tuesday's revelation that this post was going to be filled by Adriana LaGrange, a MLA from Red Deer, was greeted with enthusiastic support by the members of the home education community. As a mother of seven children, which include a set of identical twins, and grandmother of three, Minister LaGrange has a strong connection to family that our home education community can relate to. She is also a role model to young ladies as the second female Education Minister of Alberta. The passion and strength she has already demonstrated in her work as a Trustee of the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division and as the President of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association, confirm she is someone who is a seasoned defender of choice and parental rights. These shared foundations give us a common base to work and collaborate from.  

AHEA looks forward to working with Minister LaGrange in her new role and congratulates her on her appointment!

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Bill 24 Injunction Appeal Decision Reached

The decision by the Court of Appeal has been reached. One dissenting judge, of three, saw the risk of schools losing their funding before the case is actually heard later this year. Stay tuned for further updates as decisions will be made by the government, the lawyers and the parties involved. Prayers and politics are a good mix... both will be needed.  

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A New Day in Government

A New Day in Government

​On April 16th, 2019 the UCP government won a majority victory in Alberta. AHEA looks forward to knowing who the new Education Minister will be so that we can begin to build relationship and work together. Good news from the speech:

"The silent majority has spoken. . . not the loud and angry voices on social media. But average Albertans who simply spoke today. Those folks who simply want their common sense values reflected in their government. Who want high quality health, education and public services, but who understand that we need a vibrant public sector economy to help pay for those things. . . Albertans who believe in our great tradition of school choice because they understand that parents know better than politicians what's best for their kids."

Jason Kenney, Premier-designate
4/16/19, Victory Speech

Hands down - the winning point! Now let's see the policies that will reflect this. . .

If the 2014 Education Act is proclaimed as promised by the UCP, replacing the School Act we are currently operating under, we still need to be aware of the outstanding implications of the law contained therein. Please consider the latest article by John Carpay, titled "Battle over parental rights continues after Alberta election." The outstanding court cases are very relevant and important. We continue to encourage you to pray for the judges from the Alberta Court of Appeal that are currently deliberating on the Bill 24 Injunction, as well as the lawyers preparing for the Bill 24 case itself, which is anticipated at the end of the year if nothing changes.

Parental rights are very much still being debated in the public square, and we encourage you to be informed and engaged on this issue, as home education is directly related.

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Bill 24 Injunction Appeal - Court and Continuing to Pray

Bill 24 Injunction

 Last Monday morning was our long awaited day in court for the Bill 24 Injunction Appeal at the highest court in Alberta. I appreciate that you may or may not have read my brief and quickly written report right after being in court. You may have seen some of the news reports, which I will include for your reference below as well. I realized that one of the things that people may be less familiar with is that being in the Court of Appeal has a different focus than an initial hearing. The focus of the case is typically to convince the panel of three justices that they have grounds to overturn the decision of the lower court judge. Thus, it is more of a technical argument than you would have heard at the lower court, although the Appellants had applied to introduce a significant amount of new evidence.

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Monday's Bill 24 Injunction Appeal - Attend and/or Pray Please

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​As many of you are aware, the marginalization of parental rights is an obvious result to Bill 24. The bill, now law, has been implemented by the current government, but they are facing resistance from a small band of brave individuals, schools and groups, which are practicing civil disobedience to this new law based on the fact that it breaks prior protections of parental rights, found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Alberta Family Law Act. The security of parental rights is important to those who home educate, as it is on this basis (as well as religious freedom) we claim our right to do so. The case slated to be heard sometime in 2019 will impact us all, but this appeal is critical as we need these steadfast schools to remain open to support the home education administrations that are attached to them. They are also a beacon for those in the faith community to stand in the face of wrong doing and of encouragement to act in righteousness, honoring God above man.

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ARPA Alert about Bill 22

ARPA Alert about Bill 22

 The AHEA Board wants you to know about the ARPA Alert about Bill 22 that could negatively impact home schooling families in Alberta.

The Bill has already passed second reading and there is limited time to respond.

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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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