Dalhousie Law Journal


constitutional law, right to an education, public education, Protestant church, Catholic church, funding


The education of its citizenry is often recognized as one of the most important public services provided by the state. The history of the rise and development of public education in the provinces of Canada reveals, above all, the influence of the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. The educational philosophy, aims and broader objectives of the public education system reflected the moral and religious doctrines of the faith which had sponsored the founding of the institution. Yet there also existed a pervasive belief among the general populace in the power of education to support and nourish basic democratic values. Moreover, any judicial or legislative involvement with educational issues tended to centre on the constitutional protection for separate schools and the rights of linguistic minorities to educational services in their mother tongue.

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