Skip to comments.Woman’s faith bars her from becoming public school trustee (ineligible because she’s Catholic)
Posted on 09/29/2013 5:22:56 PM PDT by markomalley
Tamara Miyanagas husband went to school in Tabers Horizon School Division when he was a boy.
The couples three children later enrolled with the same public board.
Miyanaga, herself, works for the school division, at Ace Place Learning Centre.
So the Taber mother was surprised to learn she is not allowed to become a trustee with the public board.
Miyanaga found out last week she wasnt eligible to run for one of the trustee positions at Horizon School Division in the upcoming election because she is Catholic.
All of a sudden my voice was restricted because of my faith, Miyanaga said.
It didnt sound reasonable.
The brick wall she hit in her bid to become trustee involves a somewhat obscure section of Albertas dated School Act.
Section 44, the passage that establishes the residency of a person to either a public or separate school district based on that persons faith, uses the same criteria to determine a candidates eligibility to seek office as a trustee.
Eligibility to vote for a trustee for a particular system is determined by faith, not by which school authority an electors children attends, Alberta Education spokeswoman Leanne Niblock wrote in an e-mail.
As in the case of voting, the candidate must also satisfy both the physical residence and the residency criteria (such as faith) as defined in Section 44 of the School Act, she added.
The candidate must also meet the qualifications under the Local Authorities Election Act.
So even though Miyanagas children attend the public school and the family pays taxes to that division, her personal faith means she can seek office only with the regions Catholic school board.
The situation, however, will change when Albertas new Education Act is proclaimed, likely in September 2015, according to Niblock.
Under the Education Act, a separate school elector will be allowed to run and vote for public trustee, but the reverse will still be prohibited.
Wilco Timensen, superintendent of the Horizon School Division, said the school district must enforce the current rules that kept Miyanaga from the race, even though theyre based on dated legislation.
Its a grey area, in my mind, he said.
Our society is changing. Its certainly a different society than it was five years ago, 10 years ago, or even 100 years ago.
Miyanaga said her three children have been enrolled in the public school system since kindergarten.
With two children still a few years away from graduation, in Grades 10 and 11, Miyanaga said she wanted to step up as a trustee because she felt she could offer some ideas about how to improve the system.
When Miyanaga went to the school division office last week to pick up her nomination papers she found out about the rule.
Miyanaga began to investigate.
The Taber woman called the Alberta School Board Association, Alberta Education and the provinces human rights commission. She also consulted with a lawyer.
To her disbelief, the rule stood up to scrutiny.
So instead of filing her nomination papers, she fired off a letter to Premier Alison Redford and other MLAs, asking for the fast passage of the Education Act.
From me, it was quite surprising. What became more surprising was how few people were really aware of the scenario, she said.
A regular Nazi state they’ve got there.
Convert to Islam; you’ll have no problem instituting an even more socially restrictive agenda then.
To all- please ping me to Canadian topics.
Not really. Some Canadian provinces have separate schools (Catholic schools, in “protestant” provinces, protestant schools in Catholic Quebec.) The Catholic schools offer religious (Catholic) instruction — usually by a priest. This is a legacy of the way Canada confederated. It was a constitutional deal maker. The public (not separate) schools are as non-religious as any in the U.S.A. Once you start making these distinctions, it’s difficult to avoid carrying things to their natural conclusions.
A remarkably odd comment.
How does her faith disqualify her?
Write her in.
While what you describe may be the way they still run things out in BC, it isn’t that way in a great deal of Canada. In Ontario, most of the religious instruction in Catholic schools is by teachers acting under the direction and formation of the teacher’s union. Neither the priests nor the bishops have any rights per se with regards to the school under civil law. Quebec and Newfoundland have abolished religious schools in the last decade or so—yes there are problems with regards to how things were set up under confederation, but this doesn’t seem to bother anyone in authority.
The issue actually goes back to the 19th century when Manitoba took a different path than the one originally outlined under confederation, causing Leo XIII to write an encyclical dedicated to the Manitoba school question. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_08121897_affari-vos_en.html
This is the only encyclical aimed specifically at Canada.
BTW—the public schools were originally protestant.
So much for the old Ad Council radio spot “Our strength is our diversity”. Rush Limbaugh’s parody was right on target.
Actually, here in B.C., private schools are eligible for about 50% of the funding public schools get (on a per student basis). This funding is available for Catholic schools, schools of other religious denominations, and secular schools.
A remarkably odd comment.