Independent Ontario schools launch legal challenge alleging exclusion from COVID-19 funding

TORONTO — Three independent schools are turning to the courts after they allege the Ontario government improperly excluded them and other similar institutions from COVID-19 funding.

The schools — two in Toronto and one in Kitchener, Ont. — argue that in doling out the provincial portion of the federal Safe Return to Class Fund, the Ontario government left out some 1,500 independent institutions and the more than 150,000 children who attend them.

In an application that has not yet been tested in court, they allege the funding was withheld for “no justifiable reason” given that independent schools have been subject to the same health restrictions and closures as publicly funded ones.

The schools are asking the Divisional Court to overturn the provincial decision and order that the funding be distributed to independent schools on the same pro-rata basis as publicly funded schools.

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The case is set to be heard on Aug. 9.

The Ontario government did not immediately respond to a request for comme

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Author: Shirley