Roger Lepage quoted in Lawyer’s Daily article on landmark SCC ruling on minority language education rights

June 12, 2020 | Roger J. F. Lepage | Regina

The Lawyers Daily, "SCC issues landmark ruling on minority language education rights, Charter justification and damages"

Roger Lepage comments on this landmark SCC ruling, in which he was co-counsel with Peter Bergbusch and Jonathan Martin for the Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones, calling the judgment “a landmark decision regarding the positive obligation of provinces and territories to build schools for their official language minority communities that are equivalent to majority schools, and built in a timely manner”.

“It will have a major impact on francophone students, parents, schools boards and especially governments”, Lepage predicts. “Francophone communities, even with currently low enrolments or lack of sufficient schools, can demand that governments immediately implement s. 23 by building schools in their communities, equivalent to anglophone schools”, he said. “Those schools must compare favorably to anglophone schools in the neighbourhood, or elsewhere in the province.  The governments can no longer plead they have other economic priorities, since francophone schools have constitutional protection.”

Lepage noted the judgment will affect ongoing litigation in many jurisdictions …. “Other schools boards have been pressing their governments for the same. If negotiations don’t bring about quick results, we can expect to see new legal actions being filed…”

Read the full article for more on Roger Lepage’s remarks (subscription required)