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?)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.
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?
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.