Winter 2017 Catholic Dimension

The Catholic Dimension is a newspaper published twice annually by the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association. It highlights current issues in Catholic education in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon, as well as events in our Catholic schools.
Highlights of this issue include:

We hope you will enjoy the winter 2017 issue of The Catholic Dimension. Inside you will find:

• An article about the election of our new Vice President, Paul M. Bourassa
• ACSTA 2017 AGM & Convention Highlights and awards
• An article on the trustee luncheon with the Minister of Education
• Updates from our President, Adriana LaGrange, and Executive Director, Dean Sarnecki
• An article from our legal counsel, Dentons Canada LLP
• Submissions from Christ the Redeemer, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic, Calgary Catholic, and Elk Island Catholic
• Catholic Education Sunday Supplementary letter from the Bishops
• A submission from the Archdiocese of Edmonton on their new news portal, Grandin Media
• Toonies for Tuition logo design and poster contest
• A submission from Development & Peace Western region on the Curricular Resources Development Workshop 2017

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Winter 2017 Catholic Dimension

2017-12-06 3:30PM
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ACSTA and Trinity Western University

The Alberta Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) has filed to be an intervener in support of the National Coalition of Catholic School Trustees' Associations' (the "Coalition”) in regards to intervene in the appeals filed by the Trinity Western University and Brayden Volkenant (SCC File No. 37209 and Law Society of British Columbia (SCC File No. 37318). The National Catholic Trustee Coalition was formed for the specific purpose of intervening in the above-noted appeal and includes the ACSTA; Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association; Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association; and Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association.

The ACSTA is involved as an intervener with the coalition as an organization charged with the responsibility to ensure that the rights and privileges with respect to Catholic separate schools are protected. The ACSTA’s perspective on the matter will be unique as it operates in a very different context than TWU, which is a private evangelical Christian post-secondary institution. The ACSTA’s position is neutral and is not supporting either side. The ACSTA is intervening to ensure our voice is heard in protecting and maintaining the rights afforded Catholic education across the country which is the role of the trustees in protecting Catholic education rights.

The determinations of the Court on these issues will almost certainly have a significant impact on the way in which the Coalition, the school boards, and the trustees and its members, represent and conduct themselves in educating youth in faith. ACSTA believes that we need to be dynamically involved in protecting our rights. The best way to do this is to be active and able to present our views and perspectives so they are heard in our role as an intervener in the case.

Please click here for the Factum of the ("Coalition”).

Questions? Contact ACSTA at (780) 484-6209 or by email at

2017-11-29 11:05AM
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ACSTA Welcomes New Vice President

Edmonton AB – At its Annual General Meeting this past weekend, the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) elected Paul M. Bourassa, Catholic trustee from Conseil scolaire FrancoSud, as its new Vice President. Adriana LaGrange from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools was acclaimed as ACSTA President. Both terms are for a one-year period.

The ACSTA would like to thank John Tomkinson for his hard work, commitment, and faithful dedication to Catholic education as a trustee for St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Regional School Division over the past many years, and for his service as ACSTA Vice President for the past two years.

Paul M. Bourassa has been a Catholic trustee for Conseil scolaire FrancoSud since 2012. He has served on the ACSTA Board of Directors in the past, and is pleased with his election as the new ACSTA Vice President.

“A few different trustees asked if it was something about which I had thought, I honestly had not,” said Paul. “Nonetheless, with encouragement from people whose opinion I respected and trusted, including my wife, I felt it was the right thing to do. I think I can provide a unique viewpoint given that I am trained as a lawyer as opposed to a teacher.”

ACSTA President Adriana LaGrange is very pleased to introduce Paul M. Bourassa as our newest executive team member.

“On behalf of all of ACSTA, I congratulate and welcome Paul to the position of ACSTA Vice President. I thank Paul for answering the call to serve and share his many gifts and talents. Paul is truly dedicated to and passionate about Catholic Education.”

Paul is a Federal Crown Prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and is currently on a one-year sabbatical. He recently took a contract with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, doing work in Zimbabwe. He travels there every few months. Paul was born and raised in Regina and moved to Calgary at the age of 14, attending Calgary Catholic schools. He resides in Calgary with his wife Kelly and their three daughters.


Edmonton (Alberta) – Lors de son assemblée générale annuelle qui a eu lieu le weekend dernier, la Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association (ACSTA) a élu Paul M. Bourassa, conseiller scolaire catholique du Conseil scolaire FrancoSud, au poste de vice-président de l’association. Adriana LaGrange, conseillère scolaire des Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, a été, quant à elle, élue présidente de ACSTA. La durée du mandat de chacun de ces postes est d’un an.

ACSTA aimerait prendre l’occasion pour remercier John Tomkinson de son travail acharné, de son engagement et du dévouement dont il a fait preuve envers l’éducation catholique au cours des dernières années alors qu’il était conseiller scolaire de la St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Regional School Division. Nous le remercions également d’avoir été le vice-président de ACSTA pendant les deux dernières années.

Depuis 2012, Paul M. Bourassa siège au Conseil scolaire FrancoSud comme conseiller scolaire catholique. Il avait déjà siégé au conseil d’administration de l’ACSTA et il est heureux d’avoir été élu vice-président de l’association.

« Des conseillers scolaires m’ont demandé si c’était quelque chose à laquelle j’avais pensé, mais honnêtement je n’avais pas vraiment réfléchi à ça avant, a déclaré Paul. Néanmoins, avec les encouragements de personnes dont je respecte l’opinion et en qui j’ai confiance, dont mon épouse, j’ai estimé que c’était la bonne chose à faire. Étant donné que j’ai étudié en droit plutôt qu’en éducation, je pense que je peux donner un point de vue différent et unique. »

La présidente de ACSTA, Adriana LaGrange, est également très heureuse d’accueillir Paul M. Bourassa à titre de nouveau membre du comité exécutif de l’association.

« Au nom de tous les membres de ACSTA, je souhaite la bienvenue à Paul et le féliciter de son élection au poste de vice-président de ACSTA. Je tiens à remercier Paul d’avoir répondu à l’appel de servir et de partager ses nombreux dons et talents avec nous. Paul est une personne très dévouée et passionnée par l’éducation catholique. »

Paul travaille comme procureur fédéral auprès du Service des poursuites pénales du Canada. Présentement en congé sabbatique d’un an, il a accepté récemment une offre de contrat de l’Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime pour travailler au Zimbabwe. Ainsi, il se rend là-bas tous les deux ou trois mois. Paul est né et a grandi à Regina. Puis, à l’âge de 14 ans, il a déménagé à Calgary où il a étudié dans des écoles catholiques. Aujourd’hui, il réside toujours à Calgary avec sa femme Kelly et leurs trois filles.

#205, 9940 - 106 St Edmonton, AB T5K 2N2
(780) 484-6209 or by email at

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PDF Version of Release French

2017-11-22 1:33PM
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Winter 2017

The Catholic Dimension

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