Top court strikes down Quebec English school law

CBC News
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Canada’s top court has declared a Quebec law barring certain students from going to public English-language schools unconstitutional, a decision that has "angered" the province’s government.

The Supreme Court of Canada released its unanimous ruling on Bill 104 Thursday morning, effectively throwing out two appeals by the Quebec government to preserve the legislation.

The SCOC called Bill 104 "excessive" and lacking nuance, and is giving Quebec one year to replace it with an appropriate compromise.

Quebec’s Culture Minister Christine St-Pierre reacted almost immediately to the decision, telling reporters she is "disappointed and angered" by the ruling.

A group of Quebec parents had challenged the controversial law that closed a loophole in Bill 101.

The loophole allowed parents who sent their children to private English school for a short time to register them in Quebec’s public English-language system.

Quebec’s strict language laws require the majority of children to attend French-language schools unless they meet a long list of criteria, and can provide a "certificate of eligibility."

The loophole allowed students who attended private English school for a year or less could earn their eligibility for the English public system.

Bill 104 was originally struck down by Quebec’s Appeals Court two years ago for being unconstitutional.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/10/22/quebec-bill-104-scoc.html

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