Whitehorse French school decision could take months
Court case revolves around building new French school in Whitehorse
The Yukon Court of Appeal says it could take months to decide on the fight over Francophone education rights in the territory.
At stake is a multi-million dollar new high school and the Yukon Government’s right to control its budget.
Lawyers for the Yukon Government and the Francophone school board wrapped up arguments Wednesday in court. The government is appealing an earlier court decision which ordered it to build a new high school for Francophone students.
Its lawyer, Maxime Faille, maintains the judge in that ruling was biased and that the new school is not needed.
"The issue of bias is an important one on a number of fronts. It’s important for the administration of justice generally and, of course, this particular decision orders the government to engage in very significant public expenditures that the government does not believe are justified," said Faille.
The Yukon Government is also appealing the judge’s decision which ordered the government to turn over millions of dollars in funding to the school board.
The Francophone school board at École Émilie-Tremblay says it is losing high school students because the school is overcrowded and there are not enough programs.
School board president André Bourcier remains confident the order will be upheld.
"We have to look into building that high school for the high school kids. The primary school is pushing secondary out, so hopefully we will have some place to house them next September," said Bourcier.
The Court of Appeal judges from B.C. say it is an important but difficult case.
After three days of arguments, they say a decision will take at least two months.