Historian says Catholic school funding a right

A historian at Yukon College says constitutional rights at play in Catholic school funding

Catholic school funding in Yukon is guaranteed through legislation according to a Whitehorse historian.

Public funding for Yukon’s Catholic schools has come under fire recently because of their controversial policies aimed at gay students.

Amanda Graham is a northern studies professor at Yukon College. She said the Catholic Church established the first public schools in Yukon more than a hundred years ago.

"The British North America Act guaranteed the rights of Catholics and Franco-phones, so minorities of various kinds on entry into Confederation," Graham said.

"So that right kept being extended as territorial legislation was written and then ours was based on NWT legislation so the right came with the creation of the territory, and practice made it happen," she said. 

Yukon's Education Minister last week ordered Vanier Catholic Secondary School officials in Whitehorse to remove a school policy from its website discriminating against gay students. Scott Ken said it’s not line with department policies.

The Catholic bishop for Yukon said while the policy will be taken off the website, it’s still in effect for teachers and administrators.