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Prctestants in Quebec Urge Elimination of Religion from School System

December 23, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two major Protestant educational organizations in the Province of Quebec called here for the abolition of the “confessional” system of education in the province. Under the current “confessional” system, schools are conducted under either Catholic auspices or Protestant Jurisdiction.

Both organizations submitted briefs on the issue to the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. The groups are the Quebec Federation of Protestant Home and School Associations and the Quebec Association of Protestant School Boards.

The Federation suggested to the Royal Commission the establishment of a Dominion-wide “neutral school system.” It stressed that “the teaching of religion should be entrusted to the parents at home and the religious institutions to which the parents belong.” It added: “Financial support by Government should neither be demanded nor expected nor extended to such religious institutions.”

In its submission, the Association of Protestant School Boards stated: “While we might favor schools based on a knowledge and practice of Christian history and morality, with religion taught by churches outside of the normal school day, other solutions are possible. As Protestants in Quebec, we attempt to maintain schools with a Christian but nonsectarian background. A de-emphasis on religious teaching in the schools seems to be part of a change now under way.”

Meanwhile, the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal has named Harold Lande, a national vice-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, to the board’s executive. The executive is comprised of seven members and, by law, must include one member of the Jewish faith.

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