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Top Five 2002: Trinity Western University v British Columbia College for Teachers

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Trinity Western University v British Columbia College for Teachers, [2001] 1 SCR 772

Can a privately funded university implement teacher-training programs that reflect only one religious worldview?  In this case, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) was asked to consider whether the British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) acted reasonably when it denied the certification of a Christian teacher education program.  The BCCT denied certification because the program appeared to follow discriminatory practices.  The B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the BCCT’s denial, and the SCC upheld the Court of Appeal decision, because the SCC found that it was unreasonable for the BCCT to have concluded that the education program was discriminatory. The full decision is available here.

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