CCRL honours Quebec mother's fight for parental rights

By 
  • June 10, 2010
Catholic Civil Rights LeagueTORONTO - When Susan Lavallée found her children would be forced to take Quebec’s controversial ethics and religious culture course, the 45-year-old felt she had to stand up for her religious rights as a Catholic parent.

It’s a fight the Drummondville mother of six is willing to take all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“We’re hoping that they will take the case because it’s a very serious case and it’s a case of national interest,” said Lavallée.

Lavallée’s leadership in the challenge has made her this year’s winner of the Catholic Civil Rights League’s Archbishop Adam Exner Award, handed out June 10 at the league’s 25th anniversary gala in Toronto.

The Quebec government launched the new course, which replaced religion classes in Quebec schools, in 2008. The mandatory course has a curriculum featuring world religions and also explores ethics.

Lavallée asked the school board to exempt her children from the course, saying it was infringing upon her rights as a parent to decide the education of her children and her family’s freedom of religion. But her request was rejected, leading Lavallée to take her fight to court.

“It’s touching one’s freedoms of conscience and religion and fundamental rights. I believe we should have the right to choose the education of our children,” she said.

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