By Peter Stock

(3 minute read)

Quebec homeschooling families are feeling a great deal of pressure right now as their provincial government is requiring that home educated children write provincial exams, starting in two years time. This new demand places additional burdens on parents and students without any meaningful educational benefit. This is an example of ‘government thinks it knows best’, though it clearly doesn’t.

When any government suggests or imposes changes we disagree with, HSLDA takes action. In Quebec recently this has meant lobbying the Minister and elected members of the legislature. However, once the new regulations came into effect, HSLDA must and does inform our members of how to comply with the law.

When HSLDA encourages compliance, does it mean we agreed with the new regulations? No, it doesn’t. But we all live under the rule of law and cannot ignore the law just because we don’t agree with it. When an HSLDA member family anywhere in Canada faces a legal challenge from a government agency over their homeschooling, it can be very difficult, if not impossible for HSLDA to defend that family if they are shown to be in blatant disregard of the law.

So shouldn’t HSLDA immediately go off to court to challenge the new regulations in Quebec? Well, going to court always entails a fair bit of risk. Losing in court can actually make things worse. That is why other opportunities for achieving change should be pursued first, before rushing off to court. And, even then, court action should only be pursued if there is a reasonable chance for success.

In Quebec the exam-writing requirement is still two years away, which gives HSLDA’s talented legal team and all our members and supporters in Quebec a significant window of opportunity to lobby politicians for improvements in the regulations. And, going forward we’ll continue to use every tool at our disposal, including court action, to promote and defend home education freedom in Quebec and right across Canada.

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