Regina woman says her family would consider converting to Catholicism if funding ruling stands

Sarah Honeysett says she is considering a religious conversion after a decision from a judge earlier this week, who said the Saskatchewan government can no longer fund non-Catholic students who attend Catholic schools in Saskatchewan.

"If it comes down to the fact that the ruling stands, we will be looking at our options to convert to Catholicism," Honeysett said, noting her family is Christian. 

Honeysett said her family will wait out the 30-day window for an appeal to be filed in the decision first.

"We were really surprised," Honeysett said of the decision, which she found out about on Facebook.  "I didn't even know that was in the cards ... It completely blind sided us."

Her daughter and son both attend St. Angela Merici Elementary, a French-immersion Catholic school in Regina. 

On Thursday, Justice Donald Layh ruled that the provincial government must stop paying for non-Catholic students to attend Catholic schools in the province, saying that funding "non-minority faith students" in Catholic schools violates both the Charter of Rights and "the state's duty of religious neutrality."

That decision is set to take effect in June 2018.   

"I'll do everything that I can to make sure they stay at the same school," Honeysett said, noting her children have friends at the school. 

If her children's education is no longer covered by the province, Honeysett said she won't be able to afford to keep the kids in the same school.

"I don't really feel that it was a fair judgement," she said of the ruling. 

The decision to send her kids to a Catholic school wasn't made on a whim, Honeysett added. Her grandparents chose Catholic schools and her brother also has three children in the Catholic school system. 

"We really like the idea of the fact that they do get a little bit of religion in the school, which is another reason we did decide to chose Catholic over the public school system," Honeysett said.

Proximity also played into the decision to choose St. Angela, she said. As it stands now, her children can walk to school. If they had to use the public school system, the children would need to catch the bus.

"We've made sure all of our taxes go to the separate school system," she said. "It wasn't a rash decision for us ... and we would really like to stay there."