R. v. Jones, (1985) 64 A.R. 112 (ProvCt)

Judge:Nelles, P.C.J.
Court:Provincial Court (Alberta)
Case Date:July 23, 1985
Jurisdiction:Alberta
Citations:(1985), 64 A.R. 112 (ProvCt)
 
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R. v. Jones (1985), 64 A.R. 112 (ProvCt)

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R. v. Jones

(Docket No. C0370025900)

Indexed As: R. v. Jones

Alberta Provincial Court

Nelles, P.C.J.

July 23, 1985.

Summary:

A church pastor was charged with operating a private school not approved by the Minister of Education, contrary to s. 10(3) of the Department of Education Act. The pastor submitted that the requirement of governmental approval for the church school infringed the church's right to freedom of religion. The Alberta Provincial Court held that the Department of Education Act did not infringe the right to freedom of religion and accordingly convicted the pastor.

Civil Rights - Topic 384

Freedom of religion - Infringement of - Governmental authority over education - Private schools in Alberta required the approval of the Minister of Education pursuant to s. 10 of the Department of Education Act - The Alberta Provincial Court held that church-operated schools, being private schools, required governmental approval - The court held that although the Act incidentally affected the exercise of the church's religious belief, the pith and substance of the legislation was not religion but education, therefore the Act did not contravene the guarantee of freedom of religion in the Charter or the Alberta Bill of Rights - Regardless the court held that governmental approval was a reasonable limit under s. 1 of the Charter - See paragraphs 12 to 28.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - The Alberta Provincial Court held that church-operated schools in Alberta, being private schools, required the approval of the Minister of Education pursuant to s. 10 of the Department of Education Act - The court held that the Act did not contravene the guarantee of freedom of religion in the Charter or the Alberta Bill of Rights - Regardless, the court held that governmental approval was a reasonable limit under s. 1 of the Charter - See paragraphs 12 to 28.

Civil Rights - Topic 8546

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Life, liberty and security of the person - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice (s. 7) was procedural in the sense that the principles of fundamental justice, such as due notice, a proper hearing, and an opportunity to be heard, must be adhered to - See paragraph 10.

Civil Rights - Topic 8547

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Interpretation - Principles of fundamental justice - The Alberta Provincial Court held that the "principles of fundamental justice" in s. 7 of the Charter involved matters of procedure such as due notice, a proper hearing and the opportunity to be heard, and did not involve substantive rights - See paragraphs 10 to 11.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Hayden (1983), 23 Man.R.(2d) 315; 3 D.L.R.(4th) 361 (Man. C.A.), appld. [para. 10].

Walter v. Attorney General of Alberta, [1969] S.C.R. 383, consd. [para. 15].

International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. City of Edmonton (1978), 8 Alta. L.R.(2d) 375, ref'd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Jack and Charlie (1982), 139 D.L.R.(3d) 25 (B.C.C.A.), ref'd to. [para. 19].

R. v. Big M. Drug Mart (1985), 58 N.R. 81; 60 A.R. 161, affing. 49 A.R. 194 (S.C.C.), dist. [para. 20].

R. v. Wiebe, [1983] 3 W.W.R. 36, disagreed with. [para. 25].

R. v. Bienert (1985), 64 A.R. 10 (Alta. P.C.), ref'd to. [para. 27].

Statutes Noticed:

Department of Education Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. D-17, sect. 10 [para. 7]; sect. 10(1) [para. 6]; sect. 10(3) [para. 1].

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982, sect. 7 [paras. 10-11].

Counsel:

William Henkel, Q.C., for the Attorney General of Alberta;

M. Brown, for the Crown;

P.E. Carr, for the accused.

This charge was heard before Nelles, P.C.J., of the Alberta Provincial Court, at Calgary, Alberta, when the following decision was delivered orally on July 23, 1985.

"COURT CLERK Thomas Larry Jones.

"MR. BROWN: For the record, I'm appearing for the Crown in this matter, Your Honour; my name is Brown, and I believe it's here for judgment.

"THE COURT: Oh, yes. Before I -- I see one of my predictions came true about -- it was my view, as I recall, that the sooner the Crown gets an Appellate Division direction on this subject, I think the better everybody will be. I can't resist commenting that I notice that there's judgments throughout the province now going every which way. I don't know what that achieves. I think a citizen is entitled to know what the law is. Until it gets to an appellate court, no one is ever going to know.

"Anyway, that wasn't particularly necessary for my function."

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