In 1982, with the repatriation of the constitution, the right
to education in the language of their choice was given to French
or English-speaking children. Although this right was granted,
Franco-Albertans were unable to obtain the financing necessary
to open or maintain their own schools. As a result, schools such
as l’école Georges-et-Julia-Bugnet, which opened in 1983, closed
the following year.
The case of Jean-Claude Mahé, Paul Dubé and Angeline Martel
(cas Mahé) rose to the Supreme Court and won. As a result,
Franco-Albertans were given the right to their own school
councils. Three such councils were initially established, but
soon came to include four other coordinating councils. In 1999,
five regions in Alberta have their own francophone school board,
and on 29 November, with the passage of the law protecting
religious rights, catholic school boards are created.
With these tools, francophones living in a minority situation
can finally offer their children school services which permit
them to protect the linguistic patrimony.