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Catholics seek cash for Supreme Court fight
Northern News Services
Published Friday, January 23, 2009
The latest ruling in the matter was issued from the NWT Court of Appeal on Dec. 18, 2008. Three justices ruled non-Catholic school trustee candidates can run in Catholic school board elections in the territory. The request for funding to take the case to Ottawa's Supreme Court of Canada was made to the Alberta Catholic Schools association on Wednesday and it is not known when they may get an answer, said Gwen Keith, superintendent of Yellowknife Catholic Schools.
The superintendent said there was a 60-day period from the date the judgement was issued to file an appeal. Keith said she could not provide the amount of money being requested.
"We can't put a dollar figure to it. It has many variables to it," she said.
The Catholic school board is hoping that they are able to have their case heard by the nation's highest court, it will strengthen their constitutional rights and put them in a better position to fight the proposed board merger. "Clearly the board's concern is board reform," said Keith.
The GNWT regional board proposal calls for the Catholic board to merge with other school systems as well as housing and health and social services.
She said the board believes the merger "would be very, very destructive to the clients that we serve," explaining the schools have a Catholic message and they are trying to protect their constitutional rights.
"We want to make sure we can provide and live our mandate out," said Keith. "We're very confident in our direction."
The Catholic School Board lost its first legal battle to prevent non-Catholics from being elected to the school board in May 2007.