HSLDA of Canada Moves Forward
HSLDA of Canada has moved forward on several fronts. Legal contacts between members and school officials in Alberta have been resolved; HSDA has been represented at conferences in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario; and a Canadian office has been established.
Michael Farris expressed pleasure over the growth of HSLDA of Canada and stressed that the goal is an independent, self-supporting, Canadian organization. The American counterpart is lending its resources and expertise until HSLDA of Canada can succeed on its own. Mr. Farris estimates the Canadian organization will need 2,000 members to be self-sufficient. Approximately 100 Canadian families currently belong to HSLDA of Canada, and membership is continuing to grow.
Canadian Legal Contacts
During March several families from Alberta contacted HSLDA lawyers reporting problems with official demands that school personnel visit homes and the imposition of burdensome testing requirements. HSLDA attorneys were able to convince school officials that provincial law does not authorize home visits. In fact, the new Canadian constitution protects homes from unreasonable searches and seizures. In another Albertan situation a school monitor of a home school family insisted on testing procedures that exceeded her legal authority. An HSLDA attorney explained the proper limits of the provincial law to the family. At press time, it looks like this matter will be resolved amicably.
Michael Farris spoke to a gathering of national home school leaders in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in late February. He explained the need and purpose of HSLDA of Canada. Mr. Farris also said that Canadians have an unparalleled opportunity to secure many constitutional freedoms because Canada’s constitution is less than ten years old. Since many of its provisions have not been interpreted by the courts, home school families brought into court could be writing on a “clean slate.” The constitutional expertise of American HSLDA lawyers should help the Canadian home schoolers as they urge the courts to interpret the new constitution in the most favorable way possible. Mr. Farris spent time meeting with provincial home school leaders in order to understand their needs and to plan how HSLDA of Canada could better serve the Canadian home schoolers.
In April, HSLDA attorney Jordan Lorence spoke to 375 home school families at a Gregg Harris seminar in Edmonton, Alberta. Mr. Lorence explained Albertan home school law and spent time talking to many home school parents to learn about their needs and how HSLDA could help them.
Doug Phillips, one of HSLDA’s legal staff, traveled to London, Ontario, in June to speak at the Gregg Harris Home Schooling Workshop. Mr. Phillips explained the purpose and need for HSLDA of Canada and addressed issues of concern to Canadian home schoolers.
HSLDA of Canada’s office is now open in Alberta. The address and telephone number are:
HSLDA of Canada
Station L Box 8687
Edmonton, Alberta T6C 4J5