P.T. et al v. Alberta [2018]

05 November 2018
Alberta passed Bill 24: An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances, in November 2017. The bill requires school principals to immediately grant permission for Gay-Straight Alliance/Queer-Straight Alliance clubs or activities “intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging” at the request of a student.
Bill 24 also amends the School Act to specify that, although parents are to be notified of instruction or exercises that deal explicitly and primarily with religion or sexual activity, there is to be no notice to parents about student participation in a GSA or QSA club or event. This means that parents are not to be notified of student participation in a club or event, even for the youngest of students.
Bill 24 requires all publicly-funded schools to develop a policy on bullying and a student code of conduct that must “respect diversity” and be approved by the province.
A coalition of faith-based schools and parents in Alberta, with the help of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, has launched a constitutional challenge of Bill 24 and an injunction to allow the faith-based schools to be exempt from the legislation until the constitutional challenge is heard.
The lower court in Alberta heard the request for an injunction and ruled against it in its June 27, 2018 decision.
The EFC has been given intervenor status in the AB Court of Appeal hearing the appeal of the decision on the injunction. The EFC will be arguing in support of parental rights and religious freedom.