The Ontario Court of Appeal rules that proposed restrictions on minority language education and minority language school boards are unconstitutional

In response to four questions referred by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the proposed amendments to the Education Act—which would place restrictions on the beneficiaries of rights under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, give school boards greater discretion in determining whether to provide French-language schools and instruction, restrict the section 23where numbers warrant” test and impose territorial limitations on school boards that would affect rights holders—were unconstitutional.

The proposed changes would place restrictions on access to French education under section 23 of the Charter and fail to recognize the right of the French linguistic minority to control and manage their own classes of instruction and educational facilities.

The Court recognized the right of all Franco-Ontarians to have their children educated in their maternal language. It also instructed the Legislature to protect minority linguistic rights through legislation rather than litigation.