A legal setback for Quebec parents who want to keep their kids at home

classroom

A group of Quebec parents who went to court to call for wider access to online learning for their kids suffered a legal setback on Tuesday.

A Quebec Superior Court judge has refused to grant them an injunction calling for the Legault government to allow them to keep their kids at home, without having to get a doctor's note.

Just ahead of the start of the school year, education minister Jean-François Roberge suggested the requirements for an exemption from having to go to school was deliberately restrictive — he said the government wanted as many elementary and high school students to return to their traditional physical classrooms as possible, citing the psychological toll of being away from school for the last six months.

The parents' case, however, doesn't end here — the parents wanted the injunction passed while a larger legal challenge is heard this fall. 

Constitutional lawyer Julius Grey is representing the parents — he says he was hoping for a better outcome for his injunction request, but says the parents' case is a solid one.

"It was disappointing, but on the other hand, the judge did note that we have a strong case," Grey told CJAD 800's Aaron Rand. "He simply applied a presumption that the government is asking in the public interest, a presumption that only applies to provisional measures, like this one."

Judge Frédéric Bachand noted the online learning option is available to parents in Ontario.

Grey is arguing the case on constitutional grounds, citing Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

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