Saskatchewan Government Vows to Invoke Notwithstanding Clause

(Photo by Marc Lostracci - originally posted to Flickr as Every Canadian Needs A Copy, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4522975)

(Photo by Marc Lostracci - originally posted to Flickr as Every Canadian Needs A Copy, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4522975)

In a lawsuit concerning the constitutionality of provincial government funding to a separate Catholic school division in Theadore, Saskatoon, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donald Layh ruled that public funding for non-Catholic students who attend such schools is a violation of the state’s duty to religious neutrality. Following that decision on April 20th, on May 1st, the Saskatchewan provincial government announced that it would invoke the notwithstanding clause to nullify the judicial ruling.

The notwithstanding clause permits provinces to enact legislation that may violate Charter rights, but only for a five year period. Former Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association president, Tom Fortosky, is grateful for the government’s decision to invoke the clause but still sees the need for an appeal of the decision which would “resolve the issue for all time”.