Sunday, September 09, 2007

Time for the little people to take charge

In his own column today (Tory hits the hot button), Lorrie Goldstein demonstrates the hypocrisy of Dalton McGuinty's objections to Faith-based funding and explains his own preference for one publicly-funded school system.

The whole article is worth the read, but here are the highlights:

What's sleazy is McGuinty's suggestion Tory wants to divide young Ontarians by religion by irresponsibly referring to loaded concepts like segregation. (Are Catholic students segregated by Ontario society?)

Ontario is the only province that fully funds public schools and the schools of only one religious faith.

Other provinces either fund only the public system, or the public system with partial funding to religious schools, not restricted by faith.

McGuinty's claim Ontario would be torn apart doing what five provinces now do in some way is absurd. Ditto claims it would be impossible to define faith-based schools. Other provinces have. So could Ontario.

Last week, the secular media invented a non-story in order to attack Tory for saying faith-based schools could teach creationism while receiving public funds. So what? Catholic schools can teach creationism now, as long as they do it in religion, not science classes. Was McGuinty attacked for that?

Lorrie goes on to explain that with 58% of Ontario voters preferring a single publically-funded school system, we must be careful not to allow the politicians (and their attack dogs - my insertion), to use opportunistic arguments and hysterical rhetoric that could inflame bigotry.

We must hold their feet to the fire, so to speak, and not stoop to their level.



Along that line, there was an excellent Letter of the Day in the Record on Saturday - Evolution isn't a big issue for faith schools, by Bob Moore, Principal of John Calvin Christian School in Guelph:

Thank you for reporting on the latest bogey man of creationism that Dalton McGuinty and his party are raising against Conservative Leader John Tory's bid to have fair funding for all schools in Ontario.

If you search the provincial science curriculum for Grades 1 to 8 on the Ministry of Education website with the term "evolution," you will find that it is never used. Evolution and creationism are non-issues at the elementary level. What should be getting the voters' attention is that the elementary science curriculum has not been updated since 1998.

The Grade 9 /10 curriculum document makes three references to evolution, in such a way that no faith-based school could object.

Senior-level documents make many more references to evolution, but by then the ministry already controls faith-based schools by approving texts, course outlines and exams before the school can grant a secondary credit for the course. Again, evolution and creationism are non-issues.

The actual scientific study of the origins of the universe in any faith-based school would be remarkably similar to what McGuinty experienced when he was educated in a Roman Catholic faith-based school, and I suspect that he thinks he was well-educated.

Any faith-based school that graduates a well-educated student has performed a public service and deserves public support. If accountability is the issue -- bring it on.

And to underscore the whole hypocrisy of the situation, Ted Byfield notes that Kathleen Wynne herself did not agree with the status quo - Religion makes waves in Ontario:

...In fact, its education minister, Kathleen Wynne, once suggested the solution was not to extend state support to other religious schools, but to de-fund the Catholic ones.

Has she changed her mind now? Someone should ask her.


In any case, it's up to you now. Shrug off your complacency and write letters to the editor. Call in to talk shows and really tell it like it is.

Don't let them pull the wool over our eyes again, Ontario.

We deserve better.

8 comments:

BEAJ said...

I don't follow for any political lines. Politicians are slime in general, McGuinty is as a slimey as they come.

But I will not vote for Tory unless he drops this funding religious schools nonsense. And here are my reasons.

Anonymous said...

he's not going to drop it, so see'ya beaj. Have fun with the greens.

Anonymous said...

here's a thought. Why doesn't someone find out if it's true that the tdsb HAS BEEN in talks with funders of jewish schools to enter into a deal just like Tory's proposing?

I predict that IF McGuinty wins this election he's set himself up to move on the faith-based issue AND the move to one-system. Rumour is that McGuinty is talking to the OPSBA about merging boards in the north.

What we need are good investigative journalists to go poke around. NOW!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at 06:32:00 PM, I've heard rumours to that effect too - about the TDSB and the Jewish schools.

I predict that IF McGuinty wins this election he's set himself up to move on the faith-based issue AND the move to one-system.

How?

Jason Bo Green said...

Tory is wrong, and this was a very, very stupid move on his part. He lost my support the day he came up with this moronic idea.

Catholics should pay for their own private system - I shouldn't. Same goes for the Jews and Protestants and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists.

McGuinty is a lying hypocrite, but - when his opponent wants me to pay for people to indoctrinate their kids into worshipping invisible superheroes in the sky, I guess I'm stuck with the Greens.

Conservatives are always yelling about what is and is not the government's responsibility. Paying for kid's religious instruction is not the government's responsibility.

I had really hoped to see McGuinty defeated. I'm very disappointed. Tory doesn't deserve to run Ontario - idiots we don't need.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

So you're voting Green, Jason? I believe they're the only party which has come out fully against faith-based funding for anyone; including Catholics.

Anonymous said...

"idiots we don't need" - Are you moving Bo Green?

SouthernOntarioan said...

JBG:

All have you know, that I actually happen to believe in those "invisible superheros in the sky". And I didn't need to be "indoctrinated" in order to believe it. Watch your rhetoric, please.

That being said, I agree with JBG and beaj, we shouldn't be funding faith-based schools. There are several reasons for this, such as the potential for segregation of religious students from one another (it already happens in some cities to large extents already!).

But the key issue is fairness, we fund Catholic schools so we should fund non-Catholic religious schools as well. Or we should fund none. But Tory can't promise that because he'd lose a lot of catholic voters (who tend to be conservative minded)