Denominational Schools in Canada

Because the Dominion of Canada initially included separate areas with English-speaking and French-speaking majorities, constitutional legal protections were provided for denominational schools as a safeguard for minority-religion schools. Nearly 150 years later, such constitutionally protected schools continue to exist in three Canadian provinces. The background of their existence and current legal issues related to their protection are discussed in this entry.

Historical Background

In 1867, the English-speaking Protestant majority of Upper Canada (Ontario) and the French-speaking majority in Lower Canada (Quebec) entered into a constitutional compromise to confederate their jurisdictions and thus create the Dominion of Canada. The parliament of the United Kingdom duly passed the British North America Act, 1867 (now referred to as the Constitution Act, 1867), which ratified that confederation. Under that act, ...

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