Does Constitutional Protection Prevent Education Reform in Ontario?
The Canadian Constitution entitles Ontario Catholic schools to be funded by the public purse. That funding is shielded from Charter review, meaning that citizens cannot challenge it in the courts. However, the constitutional entitlement does not tie the hands of the Ontario government because amending or eliminating it is not legally difficult.
Unlike amendments to other parts of the Constitution that are subject to more onerous amending requirements, amending separate school funding as it affects Ontario requires only a resolution passed by the Ontario legislature and federal Parliament. Essentially, the Ontario government could simply legislate its way out of the commitment. The federal resolution should follow as a matter of course.
Given the ease with which the provision can be amended, broad education reform is possible.
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