Oct 152014

Last week the PC party announced a number of new schools would be built in the province,  schools that are long overdue.  Many school boards have been asking for new schools for years, and not very many have been opened to keep up with the increasing population in Alberta.     My own school board explained that our  public schools are running at over 90% capacity (schools don’t usually go above 80% that way it leaves room for new students who move to the area).  Finally a new school was planned to start being built next year (April 2015) but by the time it’s completed it will already be full and we’ll require another new school, in fact it’s already full now (we have several schools in our area that are overcrowded, using libraries as classrooms etc etc).   This isn’t just a problem where I live, this is all over the province.

So now, let’s look at the Morinville situation.   Just a few years ago only Catholic schooling was available to the residents in Morinville while the other areas had a Protestant option as well as Catholic.  The parents in Morinville fought for their right to a secular education without having to bus their children to St. Albert, and won.  Morinville was now included in the Sturgeon School Board, which covers numerous other communities.   A public non-faith based school system was finally introduced in 2012 (prior to an actual school there were a few modulars set up to start immediate secular education), however it only goes to grade 7.  After that the children still have to go to the Catholic system (or be bussed out of town) in order to finish their schooling to grade 12.  As you can imagine, a new public school was asked for, one that could handle the growing demand for secular education in the area.

The announcement of schools last week was welcomed, with many areas getting 2 new schools for each district.  With the exception of Morinville.  Despite an obvious need for a new non-faith based public school the town instead recieved news of one new CATHOLIC school to be built.  Catholic?  Have they even been watching what’s going on there?

The Morinville Problem

If you would like to lend your support to the campaign to bring a new secular school to Morinville and hopefully get answers as to why they were overlooked, you can sign the petition to show your support.

 Posted by at 4:01 PM
Jun 152012

We recently received an email expressing some anger at the change to the public school system in Morinville. It probably isn’t an isolated sentiment, so we have decided to reply to it publically (names removed).

I’d like to take opportunity to congratulate your society for turning our town of Morinvilleon its back.
I’m sure you are feeling smug about your accomplishments of assisting a handful to purge God out of our school, an amazing school that my girls proudly attended years ago. Continue reading »

Jun 092012

Morinville will have genuine public education in a complete school building for the first time in September 2012. The tremendous effort to gain inclusive public education for Morinville has been a group endeavor. We the mothers, fathers and children of Morinville wish to sincerely thank you and the Society of Edmonton Atheists for the support and encouragement you have provided. When we began asking questions of our school board and investigating the public education situation in Morinville we were alone and without resources or relationships. As we pressed our local and provincial representatives we learned that our questions, evidence and experiences were being ignored or dismissed.

Without the contributions and follow through of individuals and organizations like the SEA who stepped up and advanced our advocacy by your involvement, we would not have achieved this opportunity.

Thank you sincerely. We are so very grateful.
Donna Hunter

Jun 022012

The Sturgeon Act was proclaimed Thursday (switching Catholic Board to Separate & Sturgeon to Public in Morinville & Protestant to Public in St. Albert). Friday it was announced the Georges Vanier School will be transferred from the Catholic division to the Sturgeon Public Division. A victory for the Morinville parents in their fight for a secular education for their children.



Mar 042012

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk tabled Bill 4, the St. Albert and Sturgeon Valley School Districts Establishment Act. The bill proposes to expand Sturgeon School Division’s boundaries to include the towns of Morinville and Legal and switch Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division’s public designation to separate. It also proposes to switch St. Albert Protestant Separate School District’s separate designation to public. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:23 PM
Feb 222012

By Donna

The complaint submissions sent by Donna Hunter and three other Morinville parents have been accepted by the Alberta Human Rights Commission under Section 4 of the Alberta Human Rights Act. It was welcome news after the complaint submission sent by Donna Hunter and another Morinville parent under Section 11.1 of the AHRA was not accepted in January. The two parents have since requested a review of the AHRC director’s decision to decline the Section 11.1 complaints. The parents have not heard back yet on this request.
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:15 AM
Jan 292012

In 2009, the Alberta government passed revisions to the Alberta Human Rights Act. It contained a controversial parental rights clause that required schools to give advanced notice of classes involving religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation, so that parents could pull their children from them, if they wanted.

After more than a year of dealing with the school board and education ministry to obtain secular public schooling for their children, the parents in Morinville filed a human rights complaint with the Commission.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission refused to consider the case. Supposedly the education minister has a solution ready to go, and just hasn’t announced it, but the parents are expecting a great solution, based on the ministry’s past performance.


 Posted by at 1:13 AM
Jan 252012
By Donna Hunter

Morinville Public Elementary School had its first day of classes in their new modular classrooms Monday, January 23. The modulars are located adjacent to an existing Elementary School, Georges P. Vanier. The two modular classrooms were expected for the beginning of the 2011-12 school year but were delayed for months. Students were first taught in the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, but increased enrollment required larger space and the students were moved to conference rooms in the Sturgeon School Division Office. Schooling in the modular classrooms will begin a shared space arrangement between Greater St. Albert Catholic Regional Division – the public school division for Morinville – and the Sturgeon School Division – the guest provider.
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:10 AM
Jan 052012

The most recent newsletter for the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership discusses two things that members of the SEA are probably interested in:

– The proposed Office of Religious Freedom that the federal government is working on

– The human rights complaint recently issued by the Morinville parents

They’re both worth a read.



 Posted by at 1:14 AM