The growing community of Morinville (Alberta, Canada) has a burgeoning youth population; fully one-quarter of the area’s citizens are under 18. Schools in the area are feeling the pinch, and it’s stirring up a holy controversy around the touchy subject of religious accommodation… or the lack thereof.
You see, Alberta is one of the Canadian provinces that still retains both public and Catholic school boards, a vestige of historical agreements made to appease a wary French-Canadian population who feared the takeover of their culture by English Protestantism if they joined the Confederation. Now, students in Morinville have two school boards vying to serve them.
Both boards recently applied for government funding to build a new school, given the overcrowding in the area’s existing schools: the Catholic board wanted another elementary school, while the public board hoped to create the city’s first secular high school. But when Premier Jim Prentice unveiled plans for the new building, only one was slated for Morinville.