Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Fédération des parents francophones de Colombie-Britannique, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia, et al.
(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)
Canadian charter (Non-criminal) - Canadian Charter — Minority language educational rights — Application of s. 23 of Charter where number of eligible students is insufficient to offer full educational services — In analysis under s. 1 of Charter, whether it is appropriate to deny very basis of Charter right in order to minimize harm caused by infringement — Whether it is appropriate to consider cost savings in s. 1 analysis and, if so, extent to which cost savings can be considered — Whether guiding principle of s. 23 is substantive equivalence or “proportionality” — Whether government policies are immune from Charter damages.
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The applicants allege that the Province of British Columbia infringed the minority language educational rights guaranteed by s. 23 of the Charter by underfunding the French language education system. They were partially successful at trial, and the judge awarded damages for a Charter breach based on the Province’s failure to adequately fund the transportation program for a period of 10 years. The appeal filed by the Conseil scolaire was dismissed, the Province’s cross appeal was allowed and the damages awarded for failure to fund the transportation program were set aside.
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