Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kinsella slams Tory's plan

It's not at all surprising that Warren Kinsella is not a big fan of John Tory's faith-based school funding plan. After all, he is working for the other guy.

However, this analogy intrigues me. Warren says in his August 26 post as a way of explanation for his objections to Tory's plan:

...My Dad, you see, was the guy who persuaded me to object to euthanasia, a subject about which he was considered an expert.

"Who will we get to carry out these state-sanctioned acts of euthanasia?" he would ask me. "Once it becomes legally permissible, will we then train people in medical school how to kill people? All of my students, I can tell you, went to medical school to save lives, not terminate them."

Mmmmm... What about the abortion doctors, Warren?

O.K. That was just a tangential question, but I still don't see how this relates to faith-based schooling, which as Sandy points out has already been going on quite successfully in an Ontario Mennonite school for the last 20 years!

Eden High School can be used as a model for province-wide implementation of the funding plan, if it is deemed to be workable and has public support.

And which faiths should be allowed to be publicly funded?

Here's a suggestion - How about the same ones that are allowed to have their clergy abstain from performing same-sex marriages? If that includes Yogic Flyers, so be it.


25 comments:

Nicol DuMoulin said...

This is just more incoherent spin from the Liberals.

Faith based schools threaten them because it would allow people to define themselves based on their belief systems, as opposed to their race which is what the Liberals thrive on to stay in power. They are in fact racist.

If people begin to define themselves by their faith and realize they have more in common than not, the Liberal's fearmongering has less effect and they begin to lose elections.

Doubter said...

If the system that Tory proposes is just a-ok, please answer the following questions:

1) How will Tory decide who gets funding and who does not?

Are we to fund Scientology schools? Church of Satan schools? Extremist muslim schools? Who decides? And how can we begin to pick and choose which religion is a real religion and which is not? Tory is opening a significant constitutional challenge here.

2) What process will be adopted to opt-in to the model?

As a parent who send his children to a faith-based school, I shutter at the thought of attending the parent's council meeting where we have to decide to join the public system of not. Some would want it, some would not. People send their kids to religious schools for a reason and most of that reasoning is to avoid the public system and so the children can enjoy a pure religious education. This would water down our schools.

3) How much control would the unions have?

Public school board control = public school teacher unions. There is no way to avoid it. Why would be want this?

4) How would curriculum be changed?

Will science classes still have to evolution?

5) Will the religious nature of the schools be threatened?

In Catholic schools you can only teach faith at certain points in the day. I send my kids to a religious school for a reason. This is watering it down.

6) Who can come to the schools?

If there is a faith-based school in the neighbourhood, any child can go under Tory's model. This means that 300 non-Christain children can come to my child's school now. Under the Catholic system, all you have to do to attend is sign a waiver promising not to sue to school for teaching your kids the Catholic ways.

The system is flawed. It waters down the education my children will recieve and if my kids school goes under the public system, my kids have no place to go. We live in a rural area, I can't drive an hour for them to go to school. They can't take the bus. John Tory is thinking he is doing me a favour, but he is not. He's taking something away from me and my family. Which is why he lost my vote.

Markus D. said...

Faith based funding = double effect.

That is to say public money, meant for education, also gets used to propagate ridiculous superstitions.

In my opinion this is simply unfair in a political system designed to keep church and politics separate.

Interestingly, I think doubter makes some pretty good points.

Cool Blue said...

Its funny how the government can recognize which religions are eligible to give out tax receipts, yet somehow we won't be able to figure out which ones should get school funding...

Kingston said...

Doubter does raise some good question. I believe that the simple answer is demand. The faith based school that is requesting public funding would have to be able to show that their is a substantiated demand within their area base on a pre defined class size say approx 22 pupils per class from primary thru to the end of secondary school, therefore we are now talking about 160+ students at the minimum. That should for the most part take care of the Church of Satan and other fringe identities. Mr.Tory I believe has already stated that they will not interfer with the schools but that this will allow them to confirm that they meet Ontario Education requirements and conform to all its laws etc, i.e. hate based teaching etc. I feel this is a simple question and its a one or all answer meaning if we fund one religion we must if the need if fairly demonstrated fund the others, if not, all schools become public. Just my thoughts

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Doubter, you've really made some good points. Many of them are concerns that I have myself.

Let's deal with #1 first. Sandy made a good point in the post I referred to that this is an idea that Tory would refer to so-called experts to assess the feasibility. It wouldn't be "Tory deciding who gets funding and who does not". It would be a process of consultation and parliamentary agreement, I would assume.

Are we to fund Scientology schools? Church of Satan schools? Extremist muslim schools? Who decides?

This ties in with my reference to those clerics who are allowed to opt out of same-sex marriage ceremonies if they so desire. Who makes the decision which religion is valid and therefore the person has an out?

This goes back to a post a few days ago where I cited an article where a Kitchener wedding chapel operator was refusing to perform same-sex marriages. She is a "Rev", from the "All Seasons Church of Canada"; formerly of the United Church according to the reporter whom I subsequently contacted for more information.

Now will the "All Season Church of Canada" be asking for private school funding? Good question.

Who decides what is a legitimate religion in Canada and thereby gets tax exemption for church buildings etc.? I'd really like to know this.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Cool Blue & Kingston - Funny but we all posted comments around the same time with similar thoughts.

Kingston, thanks for your input on the question of demand and influence. Both are good points.

Anonymous said...

Good to see Warren is defending the indefensible again.

The sword cuts both ways.

If the liberals are saying they will not allow FB school funding when did they intend to announce the bad news to the Catholic's that their school system (which both Warren and Dalton send their kids to ) will no longer be receving funding from the provincial government?

Oh wait, liberal logic rule being invoked: some are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

Dear Doubter - if you go back to John Tory's proposal you'll learn that he's opening up discussion and exploring faith-based funding by appointing Bill Davis to head a commission to do so.

You're questions are premature.

Also, why is it that McGuinty and Kinsella made the decision to educate their kids in a faith based system to the exclusion of all others? What makes their faith "special".

What really bugs me about Kinsella's posts lately is that he's taken on a whiner stance in his attacks on Tory.

McGuinty's record speaks for itself. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that John Tory is far from getting personal. He doesn't have to. A poor track record, is exactly that.

Odd that Kinsella doesn't recognize "kick ass" from the right when he sees it. Sad.

Ann

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know why boards like the Toronto board are funded for alternative schools...period?

How many other boards do this?

I have also heard a rumour that the TDSB was in talks with the Jewish community to essentially do what Tory's plank proposes. Why isn't THAT hitting the media?

Also, don't forget that Kathleen Wynne's on record as supporting faith based schools in NOW magazine
(check it out at Sandy's site). The quote has her saying she tried to talk Dalton into it before the LAST provincial election.

Also, have you noticed that the unions are very quiet on this issue? Is it because they see potential members if faith schools join in with the public system?

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone should ask McGuinty and Kinsella why they didn't choose their neighbourhood public school?

What was it that they felt the Catholic schools had that their local public school didn't.

Weird that it's Catholic for them and public for everyone else.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Odd that Kinsella doesn't recognize "kick ass" from the right when he sees it. Sad.

Ann, I think he's being paid by the LPC to be a campaign strategist, if I'm not mistaken.

Pity, because he's a good writer, but he doesn't shine regarding partisan attacks.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Also, don't forget that Kathleen Wynne's on record as supporting faith based schools in NOW magazine
(check it out at Sandy's site). The quote has her saying she tried to talk Dalton into it before the LAST provincial election.


Would you happen to have a link or date or something for that? Thanks.

Doubter said...

It wouldn't be "Tory deciding who gets funding and who does not".

When the government begins deciding what is a religion and what is not, we're going to have problems. I can sense deep down in my gut that Tory will be opening a constitutional challenge here. Some religion will drag his government before the supreme court and we will all be caught picking up the legal bills that the Ontario government will run up hiring an army of lawyers to avoid spending millions of dollars to open new schools.

Sandy made a good point in the post I referred to that this is an idea that Tory would refer to so-called experts to assess the feasibility.

That "expert" that you refer to is Bill Davies, who originally supported the affiliated school model - as he called it - during the 1980s. He backed off of it because of the cost - both monetarily and politically. He simply fully funded Catholic schools, which is how we originally got in this mess. There is no doubt as to how this "expert" will be making his decision.

Who makes the decision which religion is valid and therefore the person has an out?

You answered my question with a question that has no validity to my concern. If we get a community that has a large number of Jehovah's Witnesses in it (which of course, we know, exist) are we to bring in a school for them? If not, why not?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You answered my question with a question that has no validity to my concern.

I wasn't attempting to answer your question but rather to expand on it.

I share some of your concerns. This is not a tidy little package. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't investigate the possibilities and ramifications.

Doubter said...

if you go back to John Tory's proposal you'll learn that he's opening up discussion and exploring faith-based funding by appointing Bill Davis to head a commission to do so.

That was a capitulation on Tory's part, I believe. I attended a conference with Tim Hudak after the original Tory platform was announced. I asked him if they were going ahead with this model and he said "yes". This was the new model for education in Ontario.

Granted, Hudak is not the leader of the party and only Tory speaks for the Tories, but I feel that he wanted this system and then backed away slightly from it.

In my previous comment I brought up the issue of Davis and my concerns about his involvement in the process.

You're questions are premature.

Is there any other time to ask them?

When would they not be premature? After I vote for John Tory and a system of education that I have legitimate fears will dillute the quality of my children's education? May we begin a dialogue then?

If John Tory and those who support him are not willing to address these concerns now - which I feel are valid - I'm unwilling to give him my support in the hopes of him opening up a fair, balanced discussion on the subject after the election.

For the record, I posted a similar question on Tory's 'leadership matters' blog and it was deleted, most likely by his web team. Everyone seems to be skirting the questions that I have and I'm not comfortable with the way this process has been conducted thus far.

Also, why is it that McGuinty and Kinsella made the decision to educate their kids in a faith based system to the exclusion of all others? What makes their faith "special"

I'm in no position to comment on what Warren Kinsella or Dalton McGuinty do. I've never voted Liberal in my life and do not plan to start any time soon.

If I have a complaint about the current public schools system it is the inclusion of the Catholic system. I think that the government should remove public funding from the Catholic system as opposed to bringing more groups into it.

I'm sure you all know that there are private Catholic schools, correct? People send there children to these schools because they are displeased with the quality of religious education at the publicly funded Catholic schools. If this system that Tory speaks of comes in, he will be doing the same thing with our existing schools - watering them down. I don't want this to happen!

Doubter said...

I wasn't attempting to answer your question but rather to expand on it.

I'm sorry about that.

To be honest, I'm much too stressed out about this. I'm becoming short with people and I do apologize.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

To be honest, I'm much too stressed out about this. I'm becoming short with people and I do apologize.

No problem, Doubter. I've been known to do the same. ;)

So, from what I can gather from all you've said, you are actually a Conservative supporter, but very concerned about this particular plank of the policy agenda. Am I correct?

Doubter said...

I've never really deemed myself a "conservative" so to speak, but I usually vote that way. In the past I've been known to vote NDP because the candidate was a family friend but I don't adhere to any particular ideology. I voted Conservative in the last election - provincially and federally.

Yes, I do have concerns about this, large concerns. I'm not alone though. Not at all. There are lots of parents, who would vote Tory this election but refuse to because of this annoucement. I cannot bring myself to vote for a man who is willingly promoting the watering down of my childrens education. If he wins, and follows through with this plan, I will be forced to find another faith based school that is private. The closest one, like I mentioned before, is close to an hour away from my home. If they join the public system as well, I'm pretty well out of options.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Doubter, those are very valid concerns. Perhaps you could try contacting the PC candidate in your riding and see what they have to say.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, Sandy has another great post up showing how FB funding is already happening in some other provinces.

Doubter said...

I have contacted the PC candidate and no one can answer my questions because John Tory hasn't articulated the plan enough. When we're discussing a plan this important to Ontario's future, Tory could at least give us some detail.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Doubter, fair enough. We'll have to press him for more information.

Anonymous said...

It'll make my day getting to watch Catholics teach sex ed, sexual diversity and tolerance and birth control. The first gay couple at the prom will be GOLD. Watching the fundy schools teach real science will be the icing on the cake.

Man, a better way to have state-sponsored secular material in the curriculum I can't imagine.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, don't kid yourself. That's already happening.