Canada has a new federal judge, and he’s not the first.
On Thursday, Justice Daniel Kugelman said he’d rule on the merits of a legal challenge to the government’s requirement for all applicants for the federally-funded CCE exam to submit a “paper-based” test.
The judge also said he’s expected to rule on whether or not the government has the legal authority to require paper-based tests.
The test itself was designed to assess students’ knowledge of basic subjects.
The government says it’s a tool that helps Canadians find work, while critics argue it’s an unnecessary and expensive requirement that’s not being used.
The Liberals promised to end the testing requirement in 2019.
But the Conservatives and Conservatives-aligned groups have said they will continue to demand that all students get a paper-tested version of the exam.
The court has already heard arguments on the constitutionality of the test, and the ruling could be a setback for the Conservatives.
The Conservatives had argued the test should be given a “fair” hearing, and not subject to the whims of a judge, said Michael Cooper, a law professor at the University of Toronto.
“The question here is, are we a democracy where we don’t need a judge who’s going to rule for the government on the content of the content, or are we going to have a court that’s going the opposite way?” said Cooper, who is also a co-chair of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
“It’s not an easy decision to make, but I think this is a very important one for our democracy.”
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments in the case of a class action against the government of Quebec.
It will decide whether or how to rule when it hears the appeal of a lawsuit filed by students in Ontario who say the government violated their rights by forcing them to submit to a paper test.