Your Choice ~ Your Right...
                                        It's the law
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Your right to the Exemption from religion "Classes and Programs" in Ontario Catholic high schools is covered by this section in the current Ontario Education Act...

42 (13)  ...no person who...attends a secondary school operated by a
Roman Catholic board shall be required to take part in any program or

course of study in religious education on written application to the

Board of the parent or guardian of the person.

Click here to read the complete description of the Exemption clause:


 When the Ontario Government agreed to extend public funding to the high school grades in the 80's, the exemption was written into law for any student choosing to attending a local Catholic High School. 

YES, this includes those who may have attended a Catholic Elementary School or are considered "Catholic" by the school. 

They may try to deny the exemption based on this,
BUT IT IS NOT TRUE and they  know it.  

The Ontario Catholic Trustees Association's own
Legal and Finance Committee told them:

"the religious background of the student is not relevant to the exemption" 

Don't worry, religious affiliation is not a condition of enrolment... 

Some households are "Catholic School Supporters" on their MPAC designation.  This designation has nothing to do with eligibility to attend a Catholic Secondary School and it has nothing to do with funding the school.   The Ottawa Catholic Board confirms this on their website:

"Your education taxes, at a rate mandated by Ontario, are pooled with those from all taxpayers in Ontario. The money is then redistributed equally on a per pupil basis to all school boards in Ontario"


Just fill out this Change Form to designate your status to "Public School Supporter" and call MPAC to confirm they received your fax.  

find their website contact information here:   https://www.mpac.ca/PropertyOwners/ContactUs

It should only take a few days to have the change confirmed.  

Now there is nothing standing in the way of your ability to access the exemption (except perhaps a persistent administrator wanting to continue to stand in the way of your rights).


section 42 (13) first line states:   "no person who is qualified to be a resident pupil in respect of a secondary school operated by a public board who attends a secondary school operated by a Roman Catholic board shall be required to take part in any program or course of study in religious education"

The first line seems obvious that it applies to EVERYONE.  

Who wouldn't be qualified to attend a Public High School?

If you are in an Ontario high school the many reasons don't apply to you.

However.  Look at section 36 1 (a) of the Education Act, it states:

Resident pupil qualification: secondary English-language public district school boards and secondary public school authorities

36. (1) A person is qualified to be a resident pupil in respect of a secondary school district of an English-language public district school board or of a public school authority if,

(a) the person and the person’s parent or guardian who is not a separate school supporter

That's right!  if you are a "English School Separate school supporter" you aren't eligible to attend the public school according to the Education Act.

Interesting Interpretation....

Did you know.....

No public high school is interested in your MPAC status?
No public high school makes it an admission requirement?
No politician or Ministry of Education officer will tell you that your MPAC status restricts access to a public high school?

But, for some reason the Catholic School Boards have a lot of interest in it!  

The fact is, this remnant of an old funding model that doesn't exist should be changed, but for now, it's a relic we have to deal with.  

The Catholic schools will claim that section 36 1(a) means as a Catholic Supporter you aren't eligible to attend the public school, and therefore not eligible for the exemption as it is stated in section 42 (13)!


what's crazy is in a few days you can change it to Public School Supporter and you are free and clear to be "eligible" for the exemption according to the wacky way the Catholic Schools interpret this line.

The Catholic Schools will not tell you this because it's the only technicality they can use and you can change it without any trouble.

CHANGE YOUR MPAC STATUS and then send in your letter.   

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