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Chapter Seven

Provincial Systems of Education

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Systems of education in Canada start at the provincial level but do not end there.  Although local governments are not assigned any constitutional powers, in the field of education they are an essential part of the scene, exercising powers assigned to them by the provinces.  Provincial education statutes create school boards, make provision for the election of most or all of their members, and give them considerable power, including taxing power in most provinces.  School boards employ teachers and other staff and manage the schools.  Nevertheless, provinces maintain considerable power over curriculum, finance, school construction, attendance requirements, and many other important functions through ministries and departments of education. 

Provincial Statutes

A provincial legislature makes provision for education by passing statutes that create an educational system and provide for its management and funding.  Most provinces now have one main statute, called a schools act, an education act, or a public schools act, that does just that for elementary and secondary education.  Nevertheless, all provinces have other statutes that relate directly to education.  These cover such matters as the creation of the ministry or department of education, private schools, teacher organizations, organizations of other personnel such as trustees, collective bargaining by teachers, and staff pensions.  There are also statutes for colleges and universities.  Education statutes undergo frequent amendment, and, at any point in time, one or two provinces will be undertaking a major overhaul of important education legislation.  Each statute that requires some form of administration is assigned to a minister of the provincial cabinet to manage. 

Education statutes create ministries or departments of education and school boards.  The provisions made for school boards form an important part of the major education statutes.  The statutes define the types of school boards and prescribe how they are created, dissolved, elected, and funded.  The powers of school boards are spelled out in detail since these are the only powers that the boards will have. 

Provincial Ministries

In most provinces, education at the elementary and secondary levels is the responsibility of a minister of education.  This minister may also be responsible for post-secondary education although, when this is the case, the title of the minister may be more elaborate than just education.  Examples of this include minister of education and training and minister of education, training, and employment.  When post-secondary education is separated from elementary and secondary education, the resultant ministry may include labour as well as colleges and universities.  Examples include the ministry of skills, training, and labour and the ministry of advanced education and labour. 

The minister of education is head of, and the only elected member of, a ministry or department of education.  The terms “ministry” and “department” are used interchangeably here, but in each province one term or the other will be the official designation.  The minister has formal responsibility for the department and its staff, numbering well into the hundreds in large provinces.  Education acts frequently assign considerable responsibility directly to the minister, but almost all of this is necessarily delegated to ministry staff.  The minister's most important obligations are directly to the cabinet and the legislature and indirectly to the electorate.  The political demands placed on a minister or any person elected to office eat into the time that might be spent managing a ministry or department.  The person in the hierarchy directly below the minister is the deputy minister.  The deputy minister is an appointed civil servant and is the one who manages the department on a day-to-day basis. 


Provincial ministries always have an organizational structure, but this changes frequently.  One organizing principle that appear to be stable, the linguistic organization of New Brunswick, is examined below.  Common elements from a variety of provinces are then outlined. 

The New Brunswick Department of Education is split along linguistic lines.  Two deputy ministers, one anglophone and one francophone, report to the minister of education, who can be either.  An assistant deputy minister in charge of an educational services division of the corresponding language reports to each deputy minister.  These two divisions form most of the department, but there is a third assistant deputy minister for support services as well as an independent planning and management services branch, both of which report to the two deputy ministers.  Since every board in the province is either anglophone or francophone, each side of the department is responsible for a distinct set of boards and for the first language curriculum in its own language. 

Most ministries and departments of education are organized on a functional basis.  The functions are categorized in different ways, but there are many common elements.  The largest unit of a department is usually called a division and is headed by an associate or assistant deputy minister.  Divisions are divided into branches, which are headed by executive directors or directors.  Common designations for divisions and branches include operations, instruction, curriculum, programs, policy, planning, administration, teacher certification, finance, budgeting, school buildings, regional services, and school board services.  Either divisions or branches may be broken down by levels, including preschool, elementary, secondary, college, university, and adult or continuing education.  Subject matter breakdowns are common at lower levels.  These may include the traditional subjects as well as counselling and special education.  Most ministries have elements to look after internal administrative matters such as personnel and finance.  In large provinces the ministry of education may have its own legal services and internal audit branches.  In others, education ministries depend on the ministry of justice or the attorney general and the provincial auditor for these services. 


Each cabinet minister assigned to an operating ministry is responsible for the administration of the statutes that have been assigned to that ministry.  Ministers of education are responsible for the administration of the main statute governing the school system and frequently for other related statutes. 

In Canadian provinces, ministries and departments of education have assumed responsibility for the curriculum.  This is in contrast to the United States in which most states leave considerable curricular autonomy to local boards.  The provinces develop and publish curriculum guides, choose and authorize textbooks, approve instructional aids, and produce lists of books that are acceptable for school libraries.  This responsibility is frequently reinforced by a system of provincially prescribed examinations for students in certain subjects and grades. 

In most provinces, the ministry of education has responsibility for licensing teachers and, as such, has considerable influence on teacher education.  Each province has a system of general and special teaching certificates and some provinces also certify administrators.  Universities now have responsibility for conducting programs of teacher education in Canada although community colleges offer education courses under university supervision in some provinces. 

A major responsibility of a minister of education will be to provide for school districts and boards according to the relevant statute but within constitutional limitations.  Since only the federal and provincial governments are assigned powers by the constitution, school districts and school boards exist only because provinces legislate their existence and have only those powers that the provinces choose to give them.  Provincial constitutional responsibility for municipal institutions and education gives the provinces full power over school boards. 

All provinces have a system of grants to school boards administered by the ministry of education.  These supplement money raised from the local property tax in some provinces and provide virtually all the revenue of the boards in others.  Provincial grants are often accompanied by prescribed accounting and budgeting procedures and expenditure controls. 

Right to Attend School

Children have a right to attend school, although in provincial legislation this is sometimes expressed as an obligation of the school board or minister of education to provide school services.  This right to attend or obligation to provide covers children of a defined age range that is normally broader than the age range during which the child is required to attend school.  As a part of this right, boards are prohibited from charging tuition.  The following example is from the Education Act of Saskatchewan. 

142(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every person who has attained the age of six years but has not yet attained the age of 22 years has the right:
(a) to attend school in the school division where that person or that persons parents or guardians reside; and
(b) to receive instruction appropriate to that persons age and level of educational achievement.
(2) A persons right to receive instruction mentioned in clause (1)(b) is the right to instruction in courses of instruction approved by the board of education:
(a) in the schools of the school division; or
(b) subject to the stated policies, requirements and conditions of the board of education, in any schools or institutions outside the school division with which the board of education has made arrangements to provide certain services to pupils of the school division.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the educational services provided pursuant to this section are to be provided at the cost of the school division, and no fees for tuition, transportation or any other expenses with respect to attendance at school are to be charged with respect to a pupil who is resident in the school division or whose parent or guardian is a resident in the school division.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), the board of education may require payment in whole or in part of costs incurred with respect to transportation pertaining to special projects or special equipment or supplies not ordinarily furnished to pupils under the policies of the board of education.
The following section provides parallel rights for children of francophone parents to attend what are called “fransaskois” schools, which operate as French first-language schools.  Many provinces remove the right to attend from students who have completed high school, and all provinces have provision for a temporary suspension of this right as a disciplinary measure. 

Courts have taken very seriously the obligation of school boards to provide instruction.  In a 1952 case from British Columbia (“McLeod . . .”), a conflict arose between a school board and the three municipalities it served and from which it collected property taxes to operate its schools.  The board's budget had been fixed by arbitration, but the board felt it needed additional money to operate the schools and it requested the additional funds from the municipalities.  When one municipality refused to pay, the board refused to accept its children.  An application for an order compelling the school to accept the children was denied at trial but granted by the British Columbia Court of Appeal.  The board argued that it was financially unable to accommodate the children, but the court disagreed. 

In coming to a decision, I am compelled to regard the interests of the children as paramount.  . . .  In my opinion the children here ought not to have been deprived of schooling under any circumstances of the kind that have appeared in this dispute.  . . .  If the trustees felt they were unable to reduce the school expenditures to the figure set by the Arbitration Board and still give the children the schooling required by the Public Schools Act, then, in fairness to the children, one would have thought the trustees would have resigned, in which event the Province undoubtedly would have accepted its statutory responsibility by appointing an Official Trustee to conduct the affairs of the school district.  In my opinion people in public office ought to resign if they find no way left to carry out their statutory duties. 
The court went on to say that by remaining in office while unable to fulfil their statutory obligation, the trustees invited censure and legal action. 

Compulsory Attendance

All provinces and territories have compulsory attendance laws that require children of specified ages to attend school, with certain exceptions and exemptions.  The ages of compulsory attendance and the reasons for exemption differ somewhat from province to province, but the similarities are more striking than the differences.  There are provisions for penalties to be imposed on parents who fail to send their children to school and on employers who employ school-age children during school hours.  A few provinces have created a provincial offence of truancy for school-aged children. 

Compulsory attendance is imposed on children within certain specified age limits.  In most provinces the lower limit is 6 or 7 years and the upper limit 16 years, with some variation depending on when during the year the child has a birthday.  A range specified as 6 to 16 begins when the child turns 6 and ends when the child turns 16.  A range specified as 6 to 15 inclusive is the same as 6 to 16 since the word “inclusive” causes the fifteenth year to be included in the range. 

All provinces allow for absenteeism and exemptions from attendance.  A child may be absent for sickness or unavoidable cause such as impassable roads.  Children may be absent for religious reasons on days regarded as holy days by their religion or denomination.  Children who have completed the program of studies for the secondary level are normally exempted.  Children under efficient or satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere are exempted in most provinces, but the efficiency of the instruction must be attested to by some designated official.  This allows for home schooling and, in some provinces, is the only statutory control over private schools.  Provisions also exist to permit children to be absent for specified periods, sometimes with the permission of the minister's delegate or a superintendent of schools, for urgent household tasks, agricultural responsibilities, work experience programs, or travel. 

Children are not required to attend when the board is temporarily unable to accommodate them or when they have been suspended.  A temporary inability to accommodate can result from bad weather, fire, or maintenance problems such as furnace failure or school bus breakdown.  Children barred from attendance as a disciplinary measure or for health reasons are clearly not expected to attend. 

Attacks on Compulsory Attendance

There has been a rash of challenges to compulsory attendance laws based on several articles in the “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, particularly sections 2(a) and 7 as follows. 

2.  Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: 7.  Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. 

With one exception, pre-1982 attempts to avoid compulsory attendance, all of which were based on freedom of religion, failed because of the untrammelled right of the provinces to legislate in the area of education.  The one success occurred in Alberta (“Regina v. Wiebe”) and was based on the perceived inconsistency of the School Act with the Alberta Bill of Rights.  This unappealed decision by a lower court judge permitted a group of Holdeman Mennonites to operate a private school taught by teachers lacking provincial teaching credentials.  At the present time under section 22 of the School Act, a registered private school may employ unqualified teachers but, if it does, it cannot receive provincial accreditation. 

The leading case, a 1987 one from Alberta, is “Jones v. The Queen” in which Jones, the pastor of a fundamentalist church, taught his own children and others in a church basement without seeking approval for the efficiency of his instruction or for the operation of a private school.  Jones argued that it would be sinful for him to request permission from the state to do God's will, but he was, nevertheless, charged with failing to cause his children to attend school.  His conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.  The justices addressed two issues in deciding the case, freedom of religion and the section 7 right to fundamental justice. 

All seven justices rejected Jones's contention that his constitutional right to freedom of religion had been violated by the requirement that his children be officially exempted from the public schools in order to be instructed at home or elsewhere, but they differed in their reasons.  One group felt that this certification requirement was so insubstantial that it could not be offensive to his freedom of religion.  The other group accepted Jones's assessment of the offensiveness of the requirement but felt that it was a reasonable limit prescribed by law that could be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society as permitted by the first section of the Constitution Act, 1982

On the fundamental justice issue, the majority felt that the procedures set up for assessing efficient instruction elsewhere were fair as enacted and did not violate these rights.  They recognized the possibility that they could be applied in a way that might violate a person's rights, but this had not happened in this case since Jones had not invoked them.  The state has a legitimate interest in seeing that citizens receive some minimum quality of education, and the main effect of the fundamental justice provision is to ensure that fair procedures are used to achieve this. 

Other recent cases, although decided before Jones, have been consistent with this decision.  In the 1985 case of “R. v. Powell and Powell”, the Powells had submitted a program of home studies for their two children to the Calgary Board of Education for approval.  The program was examined by two board officials and rejected.  The Powells were convicted of failing to cause their children to attend school after they continued to instruct them at home. 

Two other home–schooling cases demonstrate that ministry or board officials, in assessing the efficiency of instruction elsewhere, must apply the statutory requirements objectively and fairly.  In the case of “R. v. Wilcox”, the Calgary Board of Education refused to assess the efficiency of home instruction because of a belief that it is better for children to attend school.  The accused had already pleaded guilty to failing to cause his child to attend school, but the court suspended his sentence.  In the Newfoundland case of “R. v. Kind”, a father with a teaching certificate instructed his daughter at home with a home–study course obtained from the Manitoba Department of Education.  Kind was acquitted on appeal of neglecting to cause his daughter to attend school after his home–study course was disapproved by the superintendent.  The superintendent argued that the girl's program of home studies was not equivalent to the one offered in the school, that the home was not well enough equipped (although he had never visited the home), and that home study lacked the social aspects of the school.  The Newfoundland District Court found that the superintendent's reasons amounted to a rejection of home study rather than a fair assessment of the efficiency of the instruction that Kind was offering to his daughter.  The court noted that the School Attendance Act did not require exact equivalency and that if the social aspects of the school were legally mandatory there would not be any provision for home schooling.  The superintendent had acted on his personal opinion of home schooling when he should have done an objective evaluation of the efficiency of the instruction. 


Provinces have a number of alternatives for proceeding in serious cases of truancy.  Parents may be prosecuted for failing to cause their children to attend school.  Much less frequently, employers are charged for employing a child within the age range of compulsory attendance during school hours.  In many provinces a child who is habitually truant may be deemed to be a child in need of protection and can be taken into protective custody by child protection authorities.  Nevertheless, because of the intrusive and heavy-handed nature of the apprehension of children, child welfare authorities are extremely reluctant to take a child into custody for truancy in the absence of other evidence that the child is in need of protection.  In the few provinces where truancy is an offence for the child, the child can be charged.  The most common response to truancy involves intervention by child welfare authorities to counsel the child and the child's parents. 

In a 1987 case (“Re K.G.”), an Alberta judge determined that a general offence provision in the School Act could not be used to prosecute a child for truancy.  The judge in his decision reviewed all provincial truancy provisions and concluded that only in Ontario and New Brunswick did the law create an offence of truancy.  He felt that very specific language would be necessary to create an offence for a child. 

School Districts and Divisions

School districts and divisions are intra–provincial geographical units in which the schools are operated by school boards.  The term “district” is more common than “division” but some provinces use both, depending on how the school unit was formed.  In a province with denominational or linguistic school boards, many areas will be served by two boards, public and separate or anglophone and francophone.  In some instances, particularly in urban centres, both boards will serve exactly the same geographical area, but this is frequently not the case. 

School Boards

Canada now has about 500 school boards, which are located in every province and territory.  At one time many provinces had thousands of school boards but, beginning in the 1930s, province after province undertook major school board consolidations that reduced the numbers and greatly increased the average board size.  Even today, consolidations are still being undertaken in some provinces. The emergence of new denominational and linguistic boards acts to offset the effect of consolidations to a limited extent.  The vast majority of schools in Canada are managed by school boards. 

School boards as we know them in Canada and the United States exist in only a handful of countries—fewer than five.  Their distinguishing characteristic has been their power to levy a tax on real property to pay for education.  However, this power is less important than it used to be because of increased provincial financial contributions to boards, and, in fact, school board taxing power has been abolished in many provinces.  Another distinguishing characteristic is that a board is elected by the public, or a subset of the public in districts where two boards must be elected.  There are modifications to this, including appointment provisions in some provinces for representatives from municipal councils, military bases, and Indian bands.  Most school board members in Canada hold elected office and are subject to removal from office at the next election. 

Corporate Status

School boards are corporations.  As such, they are legal persons and can enter into contracts, sue, and be sued.  They continue to exist independently of the electoral fate of their individual board members.  School boards benefit from limited liability.  Taxpayers and board members acting in good faith are not personally liable for the obligations of the board.  Because a school board is a corporate unit, the only formal authority that an individual board member, often called a school trustee, has is the right to speak, make and second motions, and vote at school board meetings.  School board employees are responsible to the board as a unit and not to any individual trustee. 

In a 1984 case (“Windsor . . .”), the Windsor Roman Catholic Separate School Board sued Southam, a large newspaper chain, for libel.  Southam contended before the court that the board could not be libelled because it was not a person and, in any case, did not have the authority to sue for libel.  Both contentions were rejected.  The court ruled that as a corporation the board had the right to sue and that a board can have a reputation for honesty, fairness, and decency that is independent of its individual members and that is important in the performance of its duties. 

Election of Trustees

In most provinces, school board elections are held in conjunction with and resemble municipal elections.  Trustees can be elected at large within a school district but are usually elected on a ward basis.  A ward is a geographic area in which one or a small number of trustees are to be elected.  Wards are sometimes called subdistricts, zones, or electoral divisions.  A ward system has the advantage that, with only one or a few positions to fill in each ward, the number of candidates will be small enough that the voter can become familiar with them and their views.  By contrast, a nine-member school board elected at large may result in 30 or more candidates seeking office.  A frequently expressed disadvantage of ward systems is that, because elected persons represent their electorate, trustees tend to see issues in terms of their own ward rather than in terms of the school district as a whole.  To run for a position on a school board, a person is generally expected to be a resident of that district and frequently of the ward in which he or she is seeking office. 


A county is a form of municipal–school amalgamation found in some parts of Alberta outside major cities.  The voters in the county elect a county council which, upon election, appoints from its membership a municipal committee and a board of education.  This encourages municipal and school co-ordination, particularly where the municipality and school county are geographically identical. 

There is provision for the inclusion in the county for school purposes of educational units that are separate for municipal purposes.  Thus the county board of education may have some members, called school representatives, who are not on the county council. 

Counties were introduced in Alberta as a potential replacement for rural school divisions and municipalities.  Although the government of Alberta formally creates a county, the initiative must come from the locality.  There is provision for a plebiscite on the formation of a county, and a county can also be dissolved in this way.  Counties have achieved a measure of success in rural Alberta but have certainly not eliminated school divisions.  The county form of organization is complicated by school units and municipalities covering different geographical areas and by the existence of separate–school districts. 


School board organization is at least as variable as that of provincial ministries of education.  Each board has a chief executive officer, its highest ranking employee, who reports directly to the board.  In the United States and most Canadian provinces, such a person is called a “superintendent of schools” or just a “superintendent”.  In Ontario and Saskatchewan this person is called a “director of education” or “director”, and in Quebec, a “director general”.  Not every board has a full-time superintendent, and small boards may not have any other central office staff. 

Canada's largest school boards have greater enrolment than the total population of the three territories.  Large boards are sometimes subdivided into families of schools and have subdistrict offices for these families.  These sometimes correspond to wards, but it is difficult to make school catchment areas correspond exactly to electoral divisions.  Large central offices will have assistant superintendents, called superintendents in Ontario, for special purposes such as staffing, curriculum, elementary, secondary, and finance, among others. 


The exact responsibilities of school boards vary from province to province, particularly in the areas of revenue raising and collective bargaining.  Some boards raise most of their own revenue while others raise virtually none.  In some provinces, boards or coalitions of boards bargain with teachers and other employee groups over salaries and working conditions.  In others this is done at the provincial level, and in still others the responsibility is shared by the province and the boards.  As with ministries of education, most board responsibilities are delegated to board staff. 

In all provinces, school boards manage the schools.  They employ teachers, assign them to schools, and promote some to positions of responsibility.  And, of course, boards also employ large numbers of secretaries, custodians, and others.  Boards assign pupils to schools and classes and report to parents on the progress of their children.  Parental interaction with the school system will be concentrated at the school and board level. 

Boards own the schools in most provinces and control their use after school hours in all provinces.  At a minimum, boards have a say in school construction, although there is no province that allows a board to construct a school without provincial approval. 

Many provincial statutes define board responsibilities in considerable detail.  Subsections 25 and 26 of section 171 of the Education Act of Ontario allow boards to provide for the surgical treatment of children under certain circumstances and provide for the establishment and maintenance of cadet corps. 

Patterns of Schooling

Most provinces provide elementary and secondary schools for children in the predominant North American pattern.  This pattern will be described and the Canadian variations noted by province.  Private schools are not considered here.  Schooling starts at age five in kindergarten, which is usually a half-day program, and continues on for 12 more years or grades on a full-time basis.  The elementary level consists of the first six years, and the secondary level of the second six years. 

The elementary level may be divided into two divisions, called one and two, corresponding to the grades one, two, and three and grades four, five, and six.  Kindergarten and the first three years are often referred to as the primary level, and the remainder of the elementary school as the intermediate level.  A school containing kindergarten to grade two or three is sometimes called an infant school. 

The secondary level traditionally consisted of a three-year junior high school followed by a three-year senior high school or just high school.  These may be referred to as divisions three and four.  Senior high schools, especially academic ones, are sometimes called collegiate institutes. 

An alternative pattern that crosses the conventional dividing line between elementary and secondary is that of the middle school.  Middle schools include the upper grade or two of the elementary level, that is, grade six or grades five and six, and frequently do not include grade nine.  Middle schools allow for departmentalization and specialized teachers at earlier grade levels.  They may also move children into high school sooner than the more conventional organization.  A pattern emerging in Canada is an elementary level that ends after grade five, a middle level of three years, and a senior high level of four years, that is, grades nine to twelve inclusive.

The actual organization of schools in Canada tends to reflect the availability of school space and the geographical distribution of pupils more than any organizational philosophy.  In rural areas or small remote urban centres, schools covering all grades are common, as are junior and senior high combinations or middle school and high school combinations.  Small linguistic minorities are frequently educated in all-grade schools. 

Variations by Province

Provisions for kindergartens vary considerably from province to province.  Some have full-day kindergartens, and others half-day kindergartens.  In some areas, junior kindergartens for four-year-old children are offered.  Nova Scotia starts children out in a full-time primary year program at age five, after which they move into grade one.  In a few provinces, the private sector is involved in the operation of kindergartens. 

There is some variation in the boundary between the elementary and secondary levels, although this has little significance except in Ontario.  In Ontario the elementary level ends at grade eight.  This was important in determining the boundaries between the public and separate systems, but now that the separate systems offer the secondary grades, this distinction will lose importance.  Junior public schools in Ontario offer grades K (kindergarten) or JK (junior kindergarten) to six; senior public schools, grades seven and eight. 

Not all provinces end secondary education at grade twelve.  Until recently, Ontario had a grade thirteen or, at least, a thirteenth grade by another name.  This is being phased out and is due to end completely in 2003. At that time Ontario will have a grade structure similar to the rest of North America.  Quebec ends the secondary level after grade eleven but this may be followed by a two- or three-year program in a CEGEP, or Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel, which translated means a college of academic and vocational education.  The CEGEPs correspond approximately to the community colleges in other provinces except that two years of a CEGEP program are normally required for university entrance in Quebec. 


In each province the responsibility for elementary and secondary education is assigned to a minister of education.  This minister is responsible for administering the main education statute of the province and some related statutes.  Most of the minister's responsibilities are delegated to employees of a provincial ministry or department of education. 

Children have a right to attend school and are required to attend at certain ages.  The right to attend is taken very seriously, but all provinces allow exceptions to, and exemptions from, compulsory attendance. 

All provinces and the Northwest Territories have local school boards.  The boards are generally elected by the public and are entrusted with the management of the schools.  In many provinces they raise some of their own revenue through a local property tax. 

Questions for Thought and Discussion

  1. How should responsibility for education be divided between the province and school boards?  Should boards have some authority to prescribe curricula?  Should boards be allowed to certify teachers?  Should boards be permitted to levy a property tax?  Should boards be abolished? 
  2. An alternative to publicly elected school boards are school committees that exist for each school and that are mostly advisory but that could be given certain powers by appropriate legislation.  Are school committees a good idea?  What powers should they have and what should they do? 
  3. Should truancy be an offence for the child?  If so, how should it be prosecuted and punished?  If not, what alternative measures should be taken with children who are truant? 
  4. How much control should provincial ministries of education and school boards have over home schooling?  The home study program submitted to and rejected by the Calgary Board of Education in the case of “R. v. Powell and Powell” contained provision for the teaching of “Writting” [sic], “Arithmatic” [sic], and “Buisiness” [sic].  Should provinces require that home teachers have some minimum qualifications such as the ability to spell?  Should religious dogmatism be permitted in home schooling? 
  5. Who should choose books for school libraries?  Who should be able to veto a proposed book: the minister of education, the school board, the principal, the librarian, or no one? 

Bibliographical Notes

There is no single source of information on the organization of education throughout Canada.  The Monroe book served this purpose at one time but is now mainly of historical interest.  The publications of the Council of Ministers of Education do frequently bring together information from all provinces.  The annual reports of ministries and departments of education from the provinces can be useful.  The Canadian Education Association handbook gives addresses for most governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in education, including provincial ministries, school boards, and universities. 


“Alberta Bill of Rights”.  (1992).  Statutes of Alberta (loose-leaf edition).  Edmonton: Queen's Printer.  1,A-16: 1–2. 

Canadian Education Association.  (1995).  The CEA Handbook Le Ki-Es-Ki: 1995.  Toronto: author. 

“County Act”.  (1991).  Statutes of Alberta (loose-leaf edition).  Edmonton: Queen's Printer.  4,C-27: 1–16. 

“Department of Education Act”.  (1994).  Statutes of Alberta (loose-leaf edition).  Edmonton: Queen's Printer.  4,D-17: 1–7. 

“Education Act” (Ontario).  (1995).  Consolidated Ontario Education Statutes and Regulations 1995.  Scarborough: Carswell.  37–234. 

Education Act (Saskatchewan).  (2002).  Regina: Queen's Printer.

Gendreau, Benoît and Lemieux, André.  (1987).  Les Structures de l'Education au Québec.  Montréal: Agence d'Arc Inc. 

“Jones v. The Queen” (Supreme Court of Canada).  (1987).  Canadian Criminal Cases (3d).  28,8: 513–544. 

Levy, Joanne.  (1979).  “In search of isolation: The Holdeman Mennonites of Linden, Alberta and their school”.  Canadian Ethnic Studies.  11,1: 115–130. 

“McLeod v. The Board of School Trustees of School District No. 20 (Salmon Arm)”.  (1952).  Dominion Law Reports.  1952,2: 562–572. 

Monroe, David.  (1974).  The Organization and Administration of Education in Canada.  Ottawa: Information Canada. 

“Perepolkin v. Superintendent of Child Welfare (No. 2)”.  (1957).  Western Weekly Reports (new series).  23: 592–605. 

“R. v. Kind”.  (1985).  Atlantic Provinces Reports.  149: 332–347. 

“R. v. Powell and Powell”.  (1985).  Alberta Law Reports (2d).  39: 122–135. 

“R. v. Wilcox”.  (1985).  Alberta Law Reports (2d).  36: 243–248. 

“Re K.G.”.  (1987).  Alberta Law Reports (2d).  49: 297–308. 

“Regina v. Jones” (Alberta Court of Appeal).  (1985).  Canadian Rights Reporter.  11: 180–183. 

“Regina v. Wiebe”.  (1978).  Western Weekly Reports.  1978,3: 36–62. 

“School Act”.  (1994).  Statutes of Alberta (loose-leaf edition).  Edmonton: Queen's Printer.  15,S-3.1: 1–106. 

“Teaching Profession Act”.  (1994).  Statutes of Alberta (loose-leaf edition).  Edmonton: Queen's Printer.  16,T-3: 1–7. 

“Windsor Roman Catholic Separate School Board et al. v. Southam Inc.  et al.”.  (1984).  Ontario Reports (2d).  46: 231–236. 

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© Lawrence M. Bezeau 2006