N.W.T. appeals ruling ordering French school expansions
Expansions at Yellowknife and Hay River schools stalled until appeal is heard
The N.W.T. government is appealing a June N.W.T. Supreme Court decision that ordered expansions of French schools.
The ruling ordered new gyms, laboratories and daycare facilities for French schools in the territory, and also affirmed the francophone school board has the power to decide who attends its schools. That power was removed by a 2008 government directive.
The GNWT wants both those orders reversed.
Suzette Montreuil, president of the francophone school board, said she is disappointed but not surprised at the appeal.
"We were quite eager to just proceed to putting some effort into building francophone education in the N.W.T., and we're dismayed at having to put more energy and financial effort into fighting the battle before the courts," she said.
Before this appeal, the government had until September 2015 to finish all the work on École Allain St-Cyr in Yellowknife and Ecole Boréale in Hay River.
Max Faille, a lawyer for the GNWT, said the expansions are stalled until the appeal is heard and a decision handed down. He said he does not know when that will be.
"It's obviously a matter of principle and it is a matter of money as well," he said. "But the reality is that educational dollars are limited and there are lots of schools that are in need, and in fact arguably in greater need of expansion."