Biography of Barett, John K. (John Kelly), 1850-ca. 1921
Born in 1850, John Kelly Barrett was superintendent and inspector of separate schools in Ontario and a federal civil servant who held several posts with Inland Revenue, including that of inspector of weights and measures in Winnipeg. He was also the director and managing editor of the English-language Catholic publication The Northwest Review. Barrett was the Catholic ratepayer of Winnipeg who refused to pay the municipal tax for the support of the public schools of the city, alleging that, as a Roman Catholic, his constitutional rights, as outlined in section. 22 of the Manitoba Act, were being violated as a result of the Public Schools Act of 1890. The City of Winnipeg brought the case to court. With the support of the federal government, Barrett’s case went all the way to the Privy Council and ultimately resulted in a negotiated settlement between the federal and provincial governments known as the Laurier-Greenway compromise. Barrett died about 1921.