Welcome! Neighbors to the North
Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada, Ltd. was established this fall in response to repeated calls for assistance from Canadian home schoolers. Over the years we have had many requests to make membership available to Canadian home schoolers, but for a number of reasons it was not wise to have Canadian home schoolers join an American association. Accordingly, we have started a Canadian company that will be a separate sister organization to HSLDA.
HSLDA will function in Canada in precisely the same manner as it has in the United States since 1983. Membership fees will be $125 if paid in Canadian funds, $100 if paid in United States funds.
HSLDA of Canada is formed as an Alberta Corporation. We chose to incorporate in Alberta for two reasons: We had strong ties and good working relations with the founders as well as the current officers of the Alberta Home Education Association, and we were able to locate a Christian lawyer with expertise in forming non-profit corporations in Alberta.
Membership in HSLDA of Canada will be open to all residents of Canada, not just those in Alberta. Just as HSLDA is a Washington State Corporation, we had to choose one province for incorporation purposes. This selection places no limits on our right to help home schoolers throughout Canada.
As in the United States, membership in HSLDA of Canada, Ltd. is open to all home schoolers. There is no requirement of religious faith to be a member of the association.
In compliance with the law, a majority of the board members are residents of Alberta. David Stasiewich, who founded the Alberta Home Education Association with his wife Aline, will serve on the board. David is co-owner of a fencing company in Edmonton. Dan Rinehart is a pastor in Medicine Hat. He and his wife have been home schooling for a number of years. Ian Penoyer of Camrose works in the insurance industry and was previously a pastor. All members of the board are Christian home-schooling fathers. Michael Farris and J. Michael Smith will also serve on the Board of Directors.
We have begun thorough research of the home-schooling laws in all Canadian provinces. Many provinces have an “approval” type law. As those who have lived in states with similar laws can testify, such laws can lead to legal difficulties.
Legal contacts and conflicts will be handled in accordance with established procedures developed in the United States. For the immediate future all Canadian members will call the United States office for initial legal help. Because of the legal limitations related to the practice of law, we will quickly refer matters to Canadian attorneys who will provide direct contact with school authorities and prosecutors.
Americans and Canadians share common legal traditions since we are children of a common mother. Many of the constitutional principles relevant to home schooling are well established in Canadian constitutional law. Although there are many differences, there are many more similarities.
HSLDA believes that God's Word is the ultimate legal authority which fully vindicates home education. And God's Word knows no international barrier.