Sunday, September 02, 2007

Working Families ad resembling McGuinty's letter?

Decide for yourself.

Compare the text of Dalton McGuinty's Sept. 1 letter in the National Post (Dalton responds), to the text of one of the ads from the Working Families Coalition, which aired today on CTV's Question Period.

Here is the text in question from the letter:

...The Conservative approach to government was to sow strife and opposition. That divisive approach to leadership turned our classrooms into battlegrounds and cost our kids 26 million school days lost to strikes and unrest -- and caused private school enrolment to skyrocket.

Now, the Conservatives are at it again. Just as our public schools are getting back on their feet, they want to take half a billion dollars out of public education...

And here at they very kindly provide not only the video, but also the text:

Ad Script

Do you Remember?

When the conservative party tried to divert our tax dollars for private schools.

They also caused strikes and created a crisis in education.

Remember when they cancelled after-school programs and slashed special ed budgets.

No we’ve had four years of peace and stability in our classrooms.

But the conservatives are again proposing to redirect our tax dollars to private religious schools putting public education at risk – and that’s what is at stake in this election.


Steve Janke, among others has been asking how close the ties are between Working Families and Dalton McGuinty's re-election campaign. The Star link on Steve's blog explains the significance of this issue:

The Conservatives want Elections Ontario to rule that Working Families is not a "third party" under provincial law and therefore its millions of dollars in campaign spending should count against the Liberals' expense limits.

The irony of the ads of course is that John Tory is so far left of Mike Harris, most true Conservatives feel they are currently without a party that truly reflects their values.

But what do you think? Is McGuinty's letter close enough to the ad to be somewhat suspicious?

Or am I paranoid?


Anonymous said...

What's your point? And, who cares.

Do you bitch about the influence the religious family coalition groups have on the Conservatives?

Maybe they simply "copied" from McGuinty.

This is getting quite ridiculous, really it is.

Anonymous said...

Here's my point anon. I have to agree they are very similar....too similar.

Not to mention that the Working Families suggestion that the conservatives cancelled after-school programs is complete and utter BS.

Let's review shall we. It was the OSSTF that started the withdrawl of extra-curriculars for students in secondary schools. Started with Durham and snowballed so that it enveloped the entire province.

At the elementary level no extra-curriculars were with-held.

Perhaps the union-based working families organization should have gotten their facts straight.

Kingston said...

Anoy, throw a name with your post before you argue someones post is ridiculous. Does not have to be your real name just some way to identify you in the debate. Do you see these religious family groups running provincial TV advertising. For the most part we in Canada have managed to avoid third party advertising, which I personally think was the way to go, the PC party is asking for a ruling on it, if election Ontario rules against the PC that it is fair game, then so be it, but then be prepared for the PC friendly groups to fire back. 24 hour commercials of the Premier promising not to raise taxes and signing that pledge, as the health care premium flashes continually across the screen, which do you think is going to have more impact on the voters. Why would you encourage special interest groups to do this.

Anonymous said...

well said Kingston. Also anon. 3:35pm, the religious groups have been meeting together long before this election. Now they feel they need to have their voices heard. John Tory will listen to them.

Dalton will not. How tolerant is that exactly? Could it be that the Premier isn't as supportive of others as he leads us to believe?

Or, is he planning to support the latest push by the Ontario Public School Board move to merge the public and Catholic boards to find savings and duplication. Is the fact that Dalton's against adding faith-based funding to things going to crimp his plans? Lots more questions than answers.


Moebius said...

The problem is that this group is not merely a bunch of people wanting to influence the political process, but a construct of the Liberal party of Ontario.

Can you not see the difference?

Brian in Calgary said...

Moebius - It is obvious that anonymous 3:35 PM doesn't see the difference. When you are pushing for a certain legislative agenda, which everyone has an absolute right to do, it is quite impressive to do so as part of a grassroots non-partisan organization. It is far less impressive to do so as a partisan organization. To pretend your effort is non-partisan when it is really partisan is dishonest and sleazy.

Red Tory said...

How is this any different from when the National Citizens Coalition or the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is on side with the Conservatives' (they're not always, but a lot of the time they are) policies? Aren't those groups supposed to be "non-partisan"...

Mick said...

Sure they are the same. McGuinty is in the pocket of the unions.

Premier McGuinty shows a lack of principled leadership by sidestepping the main issue at stake in the controversy over funding Ontario’s non-Catholic faith-based schools, which is that the current arrangement is based on official religious discrimination in violation of all standards of fairness and civil decency.

McGuinty clearly supports publicly funded Catholic education, not just because it is an historical institution in Ontario. He attended Catholic schools. He sent his kids there. His wife teaches there. His father fought for Catholic school funding (and also be the way advocated for fairness for others too – see He refuses to explain why he believes that funding 53,000 children in non-Catholic faith based schools will lead to social breakdowns, while funding 675,000 children in Catholic schools has not led to such results.

McGuinty’s inability to address the real issues shows a strong lack of principled leadership.

Joe Calgary said...

If McGuinty's the guy the Unions have in their pocket... they spend their money poorly.:)

Kingston said...

Red, I see a huge difference personally, both they orgs you mention will attack any gov, they do not give a heck what color they are. Back to the main post topic though, Is the WF non partisan I think not. Just look at the people who set it up. I have no problem with what they are doing if OE rules it legal, I just know that the PC will respond in kind and it will turn into the States with uncontrollable mud slinging on both sides, and the side with the bigger budget will have the most impact. Just look back two years ago at the third party adds and the effect they had on the Presidential Elections, Do you really believe that GWB would of been re-elected without them. Its a slippery hill were standing on top of here. I really wish people would remember that us political junkies are a very small portion of the voting public , and most people will put a lot of weight on the debates and what the MSM and TV tell them with out researching it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The problem is that this group is not merely a bunch of people wanting to influence the political process, but a construct of the Liberal party of Ontario.

Allegedly. Just to cover my legal bases here.

Anonymous said...

I think the ads by Working Families will backfire. I have several friends who after seeing one too many of the ads today, are alreay sick of them. Not all Liberals are as union supportive as Dalton.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons parents gave the Society for Quality Education on their survey of reasons why parents choose alternative schools for their kids is union stronghold on the public system. Every time the WF ad airs the champions of school choice win.

Speaking of the teacher unions, did you hear that the former education minister who sold the farm to the unions has a new gig teaching at Ryerson??

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Speaking of the teacher unions, did you hear that the former education minister who sold the farm to the unions has a new gig teaching at Ryerson??

Ah, yes. Good old Gerrard. Strange move, that.

Sandy said...

You got that right Joanne. McGuinty and Kennedy basically caved to the teachers' unions on every single issue I can think of, such as: (1) teacher compulsory professional development; (2) a majority of educators on the regulatory body, the College of Teachers -- which happens because teachers are given with a union-approved list of who to vote for and who always win; (3)the cancellation of the private school tax credit; (4) the 20 kids per class pupil/teacher ratio; and (5) teacher appraisal changes to once every five years; and (6) now being against the faith-based school policy idea -- because fewer kids in the public system means fewer union jobs.

Sandy said...

In item # 1 -- I forgot to say, "the cancellation" of teacher professional development credits.

Anonymous said...

Argue back and forth all you want folks, but really, is it a property taxpayer's responsibility to pay for someone's religious beliefs in school? NO.

School is for education.
Churches/Synagogue/Mosques, etc are for learning religion.

I do NOT want to pay for someone else's religious beliefs, period!

I agree with the anon's post about being ridiculous, because it is.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Frustrated - First of all, thanks for using a moniker when signing in as an "Anon". It helps with the continuity.

In response, I can only point to a letter from the today's Sun:

Status Quo is unfair

Premier McGuinty's statement that funding faith-based education with public monies will "unravel social cohesion" is shocking and foments unwarranted fear ("Tory 'takes us backwards,'" Aug. 23). Has his own Catholic public education and that of 600,000 students led to the undermining of good citizenship and the disruption of social unity? The negative answer to this question reveals the very strength of an inclusive public education system that should and must include all faith-based schools as a matter of equality. The premier's comment is an affront to fair-minded Catholics and a majority of Ontarians, and especially to disenfranchised families who send 53,000 children to other faith-based schools. McGuinty's approach, to invoke fear, is irresponsible and offensive.

Danny Rosenberg


I agree with you about funding other people's religious beliefs, but how can we continue to allow this lack of fairness regarding the Catholic funding?

torian said...


as someone who is non-religious, I understand your sentiment. But that said, is it fair that those who do wish to educate their children along faith lines have to pay taxes that go to a system that they don't even use?

And let's not kid ourselves...the public education system has a religion all of its own...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And let's not kid ourselves...the public education system has a religion all of its own...

Amen to that.

Moebius said...


Do you know something I don't?

Are the CTF and NCC constructs of the CPC?

I seem to recall the CTF bitch-slapping Harper over his last budget. For good reason, I might add.