Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dalton's 'Dear Friend' Decries funding position

John Tory certainly has Dalton McGuinty by the um, scruff of the neck!

How would you feel if your good friend and neighbour wrote an op-ed in the National Post begging you to reverse your stance on a key electoral issue on the principle of 'fairness and inclusivity'?

And that now that friend feels extremely offended?

Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka writes:

The Premier has said: "If you want the kind of Ontario where we invite children of different faiths to leave the publicly funded system and become sequestered and segregated in their own private schools, then they should vote for [Conservative Opposition leader John] Tory. If they think it's important that we continue to bring our kids together, so that they grow together and learn from one another, then you should vote for me."

I was stunned to hear this coming from the Premier. Most troubling is the suggestion that funding my faith's schools could lead to problems with social cohesion. The Premier that I know cannot argue that children who attend publicly funded Catholic schools contribute to social unrest. So why does he argue that other faith communities, who have thus far been denied the opportunity to participate in the public system, would be any less able to contribute to the peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom that abide in Ontario, especially when their tax dollars help pay for the current system?

Then you're slammed with a statement from Bernie Farber, chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress:

Mr. Farber said yesterday he was floored to hear Mr. McGuinty attack faith-based schools as segregationist and harmful to Ontario's "social cohesion" last week.

Those comments represent a complete departure from Mr. McGuinty's earlier statements on the issue, Mr. Farber said.

It gets worse:

Not so long ago, Mr. McGuinty believed in much the same thing. In 1998 Mr. McGuinty met with Mr. Farber and 50 other executive members of the CJC and told them he was open to faith-based school funding. It was the first positive sign from a provincial leader on the issue since the group began campaigning for it in 1984.

"At the time that was a hugely significant statement," Mr. Farber said. "He stood up in front of the leadership of Ontario's Jewish community and said he was prepared to do it."

He went further in a 2001 published interview with the Ottawa Citizen.

"There's an issue of unfairness there that will have to be addressed," Mr. McGuinty said at the time. The future premier went on to say that "somewhere down the road" he planned on issuing some sort of tax credit for faith-based schools, albeit "with all kinds of strings attached."

So, it appears we have another broken promise to add to the already lengthy list.

Losing the support of the Jewish community in Ontario is gonna hurt.

What will Dalton do???

* * * *

Uh-oh! More bad news for Dalton - Faiths unite to back Tory plan to fund their schools.

In the Star!


Michelle said...

You write that losing Jewish community support will hurt Dalton.

I assume you are joking.

Given the smallness of the affected minorities (i.e. only 53,000 kids, compared to 675,000 in the Catholic system and about 1.5 million in the secular public system), it is clear that Tory's proposal is based on principle not votes.

McGuinty on the other hand supports faith-based schools in principle (he is a product of them, sent his kids to them, and his wife is a teacher in them) but is catering to popular ingnorance and prejudice in a cynical attempt to win votes and deflect attention from his record of broken promises and slush fund scandals.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good point, Michelle. However, there may be some Catholics (myself included) who sympathize with the Jewish people on this issue and feel that the system is fundamentally unfair as it stands now.

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:

Faith based schools, Segregationistic, you ask? You betcha, they sure are!! And, just as with all things good, bad and ugly, this starts right at home, don't it, Dalt, darling?

If accepted today,Dalton's wife,an RC teacher, could immediately teach in the Public School System.

But, with very few exceptions, one MUST be Catholic to teach within the Catholic School System. fair deal, huh?

The U.N. is right on this one point, anyway. If you do it for one, do it for all.

Dalton is today's true, blue "Segregationist." His position is nothing more than sectarianism akin to the "racism" he is accusing other faiths of hiding.

The Dastardly Dalt must be evicted!


PGP said...

What's that old saw??

Damned if you do! Damned if you don't!

Anonymous said...

No joking michelle. No government would want to lose Jewish support or their votes.

Not only that several Liberal MPPs have kids attending Jewish day schools.

Tell me this. Why in April when a Liberal backbencher make a motion against the use of public money in private schools, did all but 6 Liberal caucus members skip the vote? Can it be because they don't agree. Follow this up in's all there. Each and every MPP who skipped the vote needs to be identified and made to explain why? Because I believe they didn't want to offend the private school voters in their constituencies.

Anonymous said...

Dalton McGuinty is a Liar. Everyone knows.

Red Tory said...

Mmmmm... There's nothing like the smell of a good "culture war" brewing first thing in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I find it rather rich that Warren Kinsella's crying about John Tory being personally negative, when McGuinty's very public track record pretty much goes as negative as any insult could.

I also find it rather interesting that a man who claims to corner the market on kick ass strategy gets his back up when it's used against the candidate he's assisting.

The Liberals must feel extremely threated.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Liberals must feel extremely threated.

That's what I'm thinking.

Whatever you might think about the FB funding issue, it sure is starting to get people talking about an election which otherwise could have been quite a yawn.

Anonymous said...

The election is over. John Tory is the new Premier of Ontario.

It's over, baby. It's over.

Brian in Calgary said...

There's an ancient curse (Scottish maybe?) that says: "May you live in interesting times." I have a feeling that things are about to get a wee bit more interesting for the good Premier.

Moebius said...

The Liberals should feeled threatened, but also a bit relieved at Tory handing them an issue to change the channel on their lies and health taxes.

What issue is the top of the news now?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"May you live in interesting times."

This election sure is getting interesting.

but also a bit relieved at Tory handing them an issue to change the channel on their lies and health taxes.

Yeah, there is a lot of political capital in that approach but you can't go negative all the time. A good opposition party has to show some alternative policies, etc.

Moebius said...

The Libs will go negative all the time. They have given their blog lapdogs instructions to continuously attack Tory on this one issue.

And you know what? As sickening as the negativity is, it's the exact politically correct thing to do. It is a monumentally stupid policy for Tory to broach, when your opponent has already handed the election to you. What happened to the traditional conservative policies of low taxes, sensible spending, tough on crime, less government intervention?

He doesn't need the Hail Mary pass, but he's throwing it anyway.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

They have given their blog lapdogs instructions to continuously attack Tory on this one issue.

i.e. Kinsella

What happened to the traditional conservative policies of low taxes, sensible spending, tough on crime, less government intervention?

Actually, this is kind of a funny post in that regard.

We have no Conservative party in Ontario. None at all.

So you have to hold your nose and pick the one you hate the least.

Moebius said...

We need to start a movement to vote Green or NDP in any safe Liberal riding, as a protest.

Wouldn't help McGuinty, and may help Tory find his way.

Unfortunately, strategic voting never really works that well.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Moebius, anyone but Dalton!!!

Moebius said...

I agree, Dalton is lost to me. When Eves was campaigning before the last election, I was so pissed with his policies that I voted Green.

I actually thought that McGuinty, if he won, wouldn't be very bad. That belief lasted until I started paying the new "Health Care" tax, the coal-fired electrical plants were extended until 2009 (or is it 2014, or 2022?), etc.

Strange how the current Liberal surplus is almost exactly the same amount as this new tax is bringing in.

Moebius said...

Just to clarify, Eves was trying to be the anti-Harris (the guy who one two consecutive majorities!).

We need an email campaign to the provincial PC to rescind the religious funding promise. Might work, as he could do it before the writ has been dropped, and take only a bit of flak for it.

Better to make the change now than after the election, like McGuinty, and become a liar.

Moebius said...

...I used to pick on people for bad spelling in comments. I now realize that this medium is rife with mistakes..including my own in the last post. Brain fading...

one....two...buckle my shoe...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Moebius - No worries about the spelling in the comments section. It's a free-for-all. There are some bloggers that take issue with spelling, but not me. On the other hand, I do try to observe proper spelling & grammar with my posts, but that's just a personal thing. If you ever see a mistake, please feel free to correct me. Thanks.

On the funding issue - from what I understand, Tory is simply throwing the idea out there, and saying that if elected he will get expert opinion on the matter to assess the feasibility and then that would have to be passed in the legislature, I would assume.

Politically, I think it's a master stroke. Pragmatically, I'm not sure. It certain is an issue of fairness. I would be quite happy to see the Catholic schools have to follow the same rules as every other faith; either with all being funded or just public. JMHO.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

On the other hand, Moebius, here's someone who agrees with you about the funding issue.

Moebius said...

I suggested weeks ago that he should drop this before the election.

If he doesn't, I'll admire his principles, as he resigns following an election loss that he should have won easily.

Moebius said...

Re: fairness, we deserve to have our kids educated in the fundamentals that allow them to succeed in life and advance our society.

Religion should not be included in publically funded education whatsoever.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, you know, nice guys just don't cut it in politics. We need another Mike Harris, boy. A kinder, gentler Mike Harris, but not this Toronto-chic stuff. Man, I am sick of politicians from Toronto!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Religion should not be included in publically funded education whatsoever.

I agree, as long as it's the same for everyone. Other provinces have been able to drop funding for the Catholic system. Why not Ontario?

Is it because of the unions, perhaps? The all-powerful unions.

Anyway, I'm going to pack it in for the night. Nice chatting with you, Moebius!