sk-ecole-delaval-2009

About 325 students attend Ecole Monseigneur de Laval in Regina. ((Google))

Saskatchewan's French school board is suing the provincial government over what it says is the government's failure to provide adequate facilities in Regina.

A statement of claim has been filed in Court of Queen's Bench, Roger Lepage, legal counsel for Conseil scolaire fransaskois, said Wednesday.

The board says the francophone student population has grown 30 per cent over the past 10 years, and it's running out of space at its flagship Regina school, Ecole Monseigneur de Laval.

Because of that, students aren't getting the same opportunities as their English counterparts, violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Lepage said.

Specifically, there is inadequate space for science, practical and applied arts, technology, music and physical education classes, he said.

The school has 325 students, but it projects that the number could grow to 1,600 by 2018. The French board wants to take over Robert Usher Collegiate in Regina's north end, a public high school that closed two years ago, Lepage said.

"We're saying look, we are not looking for a brand new building, we are simply looking for equivalent space, and if you've got space available now, then why are we being deprived of that?" he said.

Education Minister Ken Krawetz said that despite the lawsuit, he is ready to continue discussions on the project. Those discussions would involve looking at a location, the size of the building needed and the expected number of students, he said.

The Conseil scolaire fransaskois is the school board responsible for the province's 14 francophone schools.