WEDNESDAY
April 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 95

Labor Board Rejects Catholic Appeal Over Closing of School


    PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia, Apr. 4, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - The British Columbia Labor Relations Board (LRB) has rejected an appeal to a September 2000 decision, saying that Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George was wrong in closing down a school after a conflict with teachers over adherence to the Catholic faith.

    After the teachers of the Catholic school joined the BC Government Employees Union, the union rejected the bishop's right to remove a teacher for failing to uphold Catholic teaching on issues including abortion, homosexuality, and divorce. When the union refused to budge, the bishop closed the independent school, which is 50 percent government funded. While the labor board ruling did not insist that the school be reopened, it said that the teachers must be compensated for their loss of employment.

    Ted West, superintendent of schools for the northern diocese, hinted that the socialist provincial government may be in some way responsible for the anti-Catholic decision. West told the BC Catholic that the past 10 years under the present government have been "difficult ones for our schools," and that the diocese looks forward to better days under a new government.

    The diocese is likely to appeal the new decision to higher courts and has previously indicated a readiness to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. Following the 2000 LRB ruling, West said it imperils the province's 75 Catholic schools and hundreds of other religious independent schools. "All Catholic and Christian schools throughout the province will be unable to carry forward their mission in the light of this development," he said. He also noted that if the Church cannot mandate the religious practices of her teachers there is no point in the Church running her own schools.


April 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 95
News from the Universal Church
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