Monday, September 17, 2007

You're being duped, Ontario!

...by one of the greatest con-artists spin-doctors of all time.

But at least one Ontario resident sees through the smokescreen:

Jerrold Landau of Toronto writes to the National Post:

It is bizarre that 43% of Ontario voters would identify the funding of faith-based schools as one of their top three election issues. All three parties support continuing public funding for the 93% of Ontario's faith-based schools that are already fully publicly funded -- i.e. Catholic schools. Providing an opportunity to the other 7% to enter the public education system and receive funding equal to Catholic schools is not a big change.

What we are seeing here is a significant number of Ontario voters falling for a politically opportunistic and hypocritical attempt by Premier McGuinty to turn a small issue into something bigger in an attempt to deflect attention from the real issues. Ironically, McGuinty himself is the product of publicly funded Catholic faith-based schools and chose to send his children there also.

Ah, very well said, Grasshopper!



And Record columnist Luisa D'Almato would likely agree with you:

McGuinty, whose children enjoyed a free Catholic education, is too busy insulting those who request the same treatment to actually listen to them. He calls their requests divisive and says funding religious schools would "segregate" our society.

(How's that? A Jewish school is deemed "segregated," but not a Catholic school? Do I detect a whiff of a double standard here?)

As for our local candidates, I listened in astonishment the other night at a Kitchener Centre debate when the usually thoughtful Liberal MPP John Milloy gave a flat, arrogant answer, completely unworthy of him, about funding faith-based schools. "I am opposed to it and the Liberal party is opposed to it," he said.

Well, then. Thanks for that clarification, John.


"Kitchener-Waterloo Liberal candidate Louise Ervin, a respected Catholic school trustee, told me years ago that her colleagues across Ontario supported other faith groups who wanted the same rights. "How can we say, 'Support the Catholic system, but don't support the Mennonite schools or the Jewish schools? We can't say, 'Only me,' " she said, very reasonably, in 1995.

Now Ervin appears to have changed her tune:

This week she said the Catholic trustees had only meant to support other groups getting funding if it didn't take money out of the public or Catholic systems.
That sounds like a Liberal version of NIMBY. How Christian!

Anyway, that claim remains to be proven.


D'Almato recommends that a multi-party task force be struck to try to learn from other provinces how a fairer funding system could be accomplished. She wonders why this issue can't even be discussed?

Maybe it's the new abortion.


Anyway, if you're getting sick and tired of hearing all the gaseous emissions from the various leaders, take a break and check out Clive's post.

I guarantee at least a smile. Maybe even a laugh.

Unless you're a Liberal. Or Catholic.


* * * *

Tuesday Update: McGuinty states that he will not follow Newfoundland and Quebec's lead - Star. ("McGuinty rules out vote")


By way of a postscript, local PC candidate Matt Stanson was interviewed on Newstalk 570 yesterday on this topic. I made a few notes and can't swear to their accuracy, but these were a few of the things I jotted down:

Stanson mentioned that the cost extending funding to FB schools was costed on the Leadership Matters site. I couldn't find the specific details there, but then I'm not a numbers person.

He said that if the PC's won the election, this would not happen overnight - It would first of all be voluntary; it would be subjected to an extensive consultation process, and any school wanting the funding would have to meet three strict requirements. There would also be a 1 year pilot project to ensure that Ontario taxpayers are getting 'value for their money'.

John Tory needs to get this message out loud and clear.


Canadianna - Dalton's Dictionary.

37 comments:

Ben in Ottawa said...

Actually, I think it's all about choice. When Catholic school were first funded they were open to all, as befits publically funded schools. That has since changed, you have to be a Catholic to send your kids to a Catholic school and you cannot support the Catholic system (whose taxes are lower because they are a little more efficient) if you are a non-Catholic.

When I was growing up I would have given a great deal to go to a non-public school, because in the 70s and early 80s they were a hotbed of labour activism and leftist/underclass social experimentation at the expense of the basics, I graduated suitably brainwashed by the left but completely unskilled. There is no reason to expect that the situation has improved since then.

Faith-based funding opens up opportunities for everyone to learn in a suitable environment: Baptists, Anglicans, Jews, Muslims, et al., and most important, it would provide some much-needed competition for the monopoly that the Ontario Teachers' Federation now enjoys.

By the way, don't expect any positive endorsement of this proposal in the Gab and Wail or on the CTV 'cause the teachers union pension fund has recently purchased the paper, along with CTV and Bell Canada.

Jim Pettit said...

I think you are making a mistake in construing opposition to faith based schools as resulting from McGuinty's characterization of it. I know that my discussions with fellow conservatives showed substantial opposition to the concept before McGuinty took a position.

We won't vote for Tory nor will we vote for McGuinty. We want the teaching of science not the teaching of superstition.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

By the way, don't expect any positive endorsement of this proposal in the Gab and Wail or on the CTV 'cause the teachers union pension fund has recently purchased the paper, along with CTV and Bell Canada.

That's just scary.

wayward son said...

"It is bizarre that 43% of Ontario voters would identify the funding of faith-based schools as one of their top three election issues."

Why is that bizarre? Many people have opposed the funding of faith based schools (including the catholic schools) for many years on the principle that religion should be taught at home and left out of the school system.

"All three parties support continuing public funding for the 93% of Ontario's faith-based schools that are already fully publicly funded -- i.e. Catholic schools."

Well, the Green Party opposes funding the Catholic schools and that is where my vote will be.

"Providing an opportunity to the other 7% to enter the public education system and receive funding equal to Catholic schools is not a big change."

Ah good to see that small percentages don't matter much! So what percent can I increase your taxes Joanne? If I said that I was going to increase your taxes by 7% would you say that it is not a big change?

Yes funding the other religious schools might not be a big change, but on the other hand a small change in the wrong direction is still a change in the wrong direction.

SouthernOntarioan said...

I think someone said before that other provinces fund religious based schools. That Ontario is the last remaining hold-out on its current system.

If that's true, then obviously the world hasn't ended in those provinces just because religious schools are funded.

That being said, I've made it pretty clear before that I believe that funding for the Catholic schools should be pulled.

As a Christian, I would argue that to be a 'light unto the world' means we actually need to get into it. Secluding ourselves in Christian high schools leads students to have a very skewed sense of perspective (from my experiences I find this). As for teaching of 'superstitions', I recall being taught some very questionable things in sociology class at public high schools...

Anonymous said...

I have a question no media seem prepared to confront Liberals on.

Why, in April 2007, when Peter Fonseca made a motion that would oppose public money from being used for private schools, did only 6 Liberal caucus members show up for the vote?

Could the answer be that many Liberals private support the initiative and feared their constituents would be really pissed if they voted in favour of Fonseca's motion?

If the Liberals were as opposed to John Tory's proposal as their mouth-pieces suggest, all MPPs would have shown up to support Fonseca.

Anonymous said...

How's this for a scenario. Perhaps a lawyer could answer this?

What would the outcome be if the Jewish, Muslim or other group launch a law suit against a government for failing to providing an education for their children within the public system?

Would they win on the issue of human rights?

If McGuinty wins, could the courts force him to include faith-based schools into the public system?
And in being forced to do so, keep the unions happy? It's rumoured that the stance the Liberals have taken have more to do with not getting the unions mad.

Anonymous said...

I personally await Mr. Tory having to fund the local scientology school....good to know he thought this plan out. Can't wait until Ol' Johnny Boy goes down with the ship on this one.

He seems like a nice man but anyone so blindly stupid to bring up such a plan deserves to lose and lose hard!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim Pettit - My kids go to public high school and got both creationism AND evolution in SCIENCE CLASS. Teachers aren't bound to stick to the curriculum, and their ain't no one checking.

Oh and by the way, the very popular notion that public schools in Ontario are equal is pure BS. What's fair about the McGuinty gov't bailing out the TDSB every other year?

Anonymous said...

Tango Juliette sez:

McGuinty and the Liberal Party of Ontario were all FOR this Tory concept, before they were against it.

In 1997 the UN came out strongly AGAINST today's funding scheme in Ontario. Meaning: do it Tory's way, or don't do it all.

Ontari-ari-ari- Oh!: the last Canadian bastion of ghettoization of one separate religious [RC]school system. Where only the RC's can teach but no-one else can, yet RC teachers are certainly entitled to teach within the public school system. Talk about stacking the deck, seven ways to sunday.

The Congress [Conference ? ] of Ontario catholic Bishops agrees with the John Tory proposal.

So maybe Dalt is right after all : religious faith-based schooling can produce some pretty mean and segregationist people. And ain't The Dalt just one beaut of a classic example of that?

ciao!

tj

t.e.&o.e.

wayward son said...

"What would the outcome be if the Jewish, Muslim or other group launch a law suit against a government for failing to providing an education for their children within the public system?"

Holy crap! We don't allow Jewish or Muslim kids into public school? That is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Dalton's pissed because Tory trumped him on the inclusiveness of inviting other faith schools to be under the public umbrella in exchange for funding?

wayward son said...

"My kids go to public high school and got both creationism AND evolution in SCIENCE CLASS. Teachers aren't bound to stick to the curriculum, and their ain't no one checking."

Assuming that is true and it is not a case of the teacher teaching how creationism or intelligent design is NOT science, then that teacher should be fired. I really mean that. There is a reason why the (Bush appointed, Santorum recommended, long time Republican, and extremely Christian) Judge Jones (who went into the trial hoping that there would be some science, any science at all, supporting ID) in the recent Dover ID court case called the ID side "breathtakingly inane" along with mentioning several times that there was zero science to support it. That is simply because the ID experts at the trial (and every one of them were there) embarrassed themselves. Any teacher who teaches that creationism or ID is SCIENCE should be fired, the same as if they were to teach that astrology was science.

Möbius said...

It's pretty simple. Funding religious schools is wrong. And that include Catholic schools. It doesn't matter that a Conservative is proposing it. Had Tory gone the other way (no funding whatsoever), he would have my vote.

Green is the only party with no funding in its platform. That's where my vote is going this election.

I'm nothing if not stubborn. I voted Harris twice (like most of Ontario) because he was a real conservative, but Eves sent me back to Green, because he was not.

Tory is not a real conservative. It doesn't matter that he runs under the banner. No conservative would have come up with this platform. Davis lost the election on Catholic funding, and Tory will lose this on religious funding.

wayward son said...

BTW, anyone who honestly wants to know how bad the "theory" of ID is they should take the time to watch this lecture and Q&A by Kenneth Miller. He is 1) a devout catholic, 2) the author of "Finding Darwin's God" a book where he shows that Creationism and ID are not science and shows why evolution is what actually inspires his faith in God (seeing as the last three popes have come to the same conclusion about evolution he has a strong basis for that argument on the religious side) 3) A world class University Biology Prof who has written dozens of science textbooks 4) the only science expert the prosecution used in the Dover trial, who singlehandedly destroyed all the ID experts.

And on top of that the lecture is really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

Möbius said...

ws says,

"Assuming that is true and it is not a case of the teacher teaching how creationism or intelligent design is NOT science, then that teacher should be fired."

You're going to have to fire a lot of Catholic teachers then. This is my whole problem with the issue. Catholic schools get funded under the Liberals, but not Muslims, Rastafarians, Jews, Seventh Day Adventists, and yes, even Presbyterians (God's chosen people).

Should be none of the above.

wayward son said...

"You're going to have to fire a lot of Catholic teachers then."

I am referring only to science classes. As far as I know Catholic schools may mention creationism in non-science classes, but do not teach it in science classes. I don't have a problem with that. Nor do I have a problem if the public schools start a religions class and teach creationism in there.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mobius, maybe we should follow Newfoundland's lead.

liberal supporter said...

We have one faith based system and one secular one. Why do we need to fund multiple faith based systems?

If we do fund multiple faith based systems, that "tiny percentage" will grow 5 fold. If about half the population is Roman Catholic but they only have about a third of the students, then many RCs are using the public system. Since the cost is about the same (unlike the case for the current "unfunded" schools), this indicates the percentage of other faiths' adherents that would opt for the faith based school.

You should expect a similar percentage from the other (non RC) half of the population, so you would have one third RC faith based, and one third "all the others" faith based.

The other third would be the public system. But it too will fragment. If we fund multiple faith based schools, why should we not fund multiple secular schools?

We would then be funding Montessori, Sylvan and Kumon type schools.

So the current situation with a public system with 2/3 of the students and one faith based with 1/3 would change to 1/3 in the largest faith based, and the rest splintered into much smaller ones.

Naturally these smaller fragment boards are less efficient and duplicate much of the infrastructure. Costs would go up.

Eventually we would simply give parents the money and it becomes their problem to find a school and make up the difference if the school charged over scale. It is a lot easier to just let the market charge what it can with the base amount being whatever you get in your educational vouchers.

Yes, it's all about bankrupting the current fully funded system so we can go to a voucher system which disconnects the cost of eduction from the government, and passes it on to the parents, some of whom can afford to pay the surcharges so their kids will get more than babysitting. But look over here at these nice tax cuts!

The hidden agenda, exposed once again.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As far as I know Catholic schools may mention creationism in non-science classes, but do not teach it in science classes.

Actually, I've had people tell me that creationism is taught in public school science classes; even though it's not in the curriculum. Teachers have quite a bit of latitude from what I have been told, although it is more taught as a comparison to evolution, than as a theory on its own.

Möbius said...

Joanne,

I'm embarrassed to say that, yes, I do read the Red Star from time to time. Mostly Sundays, when I can't get other newspapers, so I did read that article. I do feel a bit dirty, though.

I think that's the direction we should be heading.

McGuinty is as wrong as Tory. Tory is just stupider, if that's a word, for likely blowing this election on this issue.

Möbius said...

ls,

That's complete bullshit. The current system unfairly supports a single religion, the Liberal's favourite, apparently. Tory is proposing making it more fair, but in my opinion, ideologically worse, by funding others.

The only solution is no FB funding at all.

I assume you'll be voting Green as well, assuming you have a vote in this election?

So, now that the Libs have been disconnecting the cost of health care from the current public system by charging me a health tax, is this the next step to "American-style" health care? Talk about hidden agendas.

wayward son said...

I remember back in high school on the one day that we were taught about evolution. The first half of the class was taken up by a couple students trying off-rail any attempts of the teacher to actually teach us anything. He had to draw a line on the blackboard write evolution on the one side and creationism on the other side and try to explain to us why the one was science and the other was not. Thankfully the couple students who “knew” evolution was “wrong” walked out of class half way through, then we could actually be taught something.

I would actually prefer it if they spent several classes discussing the difference between what is science and what is pseudo-science. They could start with evolution vs ID, continue with witchcraft and new-age baloney, then discuss the crackpots who think that 9/11 was an inside job, UFOs, and follow up with the differences in between actual climate change science and the lengths that conspiracy theorists will go to confuse the issue. These are the things that are actually polluting the minds of the young. And pseudo-science is seriously damaging. Take for instance the whole autism is caused by mercury in vaccinations hysteria. Advocates have duped many smart people, and they have managed to influence the US government into taking away a lot of money for legitimate autism research and giving it to that bottomless pit of trying to find a link between autism and mercury in vaccines. They have found one thing, 100 times over, and that is that there is absolutely no – zero – correlation between the two (take a billion potential causes of autism, mercury in vaccinations is at the very bottom, below oxygen). Millions of funding wasting doing redundant research, several good scientists resigning in frustration, others receiving death threats and needing protection when they come to the obvious conclusion. The sad thing is that the groups who “know” that there must be a link (and think that the scientists are involved in some kind of conspiracy to harm children) are actually the ones who are harming the children, because they are the ones delaying real research into the causes and effects of autism.

wayward son said...

"I assume you'll be voting Green as well, assuming you have a vote in this election?"

Is there a Green Party majority in the making??

liberal supporter said...

That's complete bull____.
Joanne must be having a liberal moment, to allow that to stand (with your original um spelling). But it will make my rebuttal look bad if she deletes it.

The current system unfairly supports a single religion, the Liberal's favourite, apparently.
The system supports one faith based system, and it is run by the majority religion in Ontario. I am certainly with TJ in thinking it is wrong that they are allowed to refuse non RCs for non-religion courses. And another commenter has claimed I cannot use the separate system unless I am an RC (I searched but could not confirm that). That needs to change.

Defunding the separate system is a constitutional problem. I would rather have the separate system be the faith based system and it needs to allow other faiths to attend. As the majority faith, they get the final say.

Funding many smaller faiths, and many secular offshoots (they would have to be allowed too) would fragment the system and bankrupt it, leading to a voucher system. Charter schools.

I assume you'll be voting Green as well, assuming you have a vote in this election?
No, I am willing to live with the Constitutional requirements. There is no need to fund separate separate schools.

Unless of course, we just start reneging on everything. Native rights, language rights, civil rights, freedom of association, freedom of speech, all these become inconvenient at different times. Part of holding society together involves respecting these kinds of things as far as is reasonable.

So, now that the Libs have been disconnecting the cost of health care from the current public system by charging me a health tax
That's not disconnecting it. They continue to pay it. Disconnecting the cost would mean allowing "extra billing" so that they say the costs are down, but some can no longer pay and that again attacks what holds society together.

Anonymous said...

My grade 12 student got both creationism AND evolution in Biology. Last I checked that was a science class.

Kids did a report and did a formal debate based on the comparison of both theories.

No protest by parents, or school administration.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the concept of the Harris tax credits would have been a much easier sell? Would real conservatives have supported that?

I'd like to know just what choice real conservatives support?

wayward son said...

"My grade 12 student got both creationism AND evolution in Biology. Last I checked that was a science class.

Kids did a report and did a formal debate based on the comparison of both theories."

If it is the case they discussed both as scientific theories then that is a complete disgrace. There is not two theories, there is the scientific theory of evolution and the belief in creationism. One is a theory, one is a belief. To call creationism or ID a theory is to raise completely scientifically illiterate students. At a time when countries like China and India would love to surpass the west in science, we are giving them every opportunity and that will cost our society dearly in jobs and innovation.

That is not an attack on religion and most, if not all, of my religious friends are deadset against discussing creationism or ID in science classes. The reason? Their beliefs are based on faith. They don't need scientific backing and they know that if religion is taught in science then it fair game to criticism from a scientific perspective. It will lose, as it has lost badly in every case in the US (I would compare it to a hockey game with a score of about 78 - 0). Trying to pretend that religion is science is both unneccessary and completely hopeless. That is not because science says that religion is incorrect (it doesn't, nor does evolution) it is because science only deals with the natural, not the the supernatural, and if there is any legitimate natural proof for a creator, it has not been brought to the attention of the science or legal communities. But that should be not surprise people, as last I checked there is a reason why people call it faith.

Again I encourage everyone to watch Kenneth Miller on youtube or read his book.

Matt said...

Joanne, I must admit I fell for it. That from someone who is very supportive of the PCs and very skeptical of the McGuinty Liberal position on the issue. I knew the numbers were almost insignificant - peanuts in other words, but only 7%!! There's now no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this is doing the right thing.

SouthernOntarioan said...

LS: Last I checked, Protestants were as numerous in Ontario as Catholics. (and more devoted usually too) So arguing that it is the 'majority' religion don't fly.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are slightly more protestants than Catholics.

So, as the 'majority' religion, we should fund Protestant only schools, right?

The constitution is unfair and wrong. It was created nearly 150 years ago under circumstances that were much different than today. Even the G&M, which opposes Tory's plan says so.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The constitution is unfair and wrong. It was created nearly 150 years ago under circumstances that were much different than today.

I find it amusing that Liberals say 'get with the times' when it suits them, and yet will hold on to this bit of archaic history that has no relevance in today's multicultural society.

Anonymous said...

A response to the Landau article above was published in the Post today...

National Post

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Re: McGuinty Is Fooling Ontarians, letter to the editor, Sept. 17.

Letter-writer Jerrold Landau suggests that because the big three parties in Ontario support Catholic school funding, we should therefore extend it to other faiths. That is a simplistic appeal to consistency that conveniently sidesteps the underlying issue: whether or not it is appropriate for government to fund any religious schools, and if so, how and to what level.

Bringing non-Catholic religious schools into the public system would compound the duplication penalty already borne by the taxpayer in funding four overlapping schools systems (English and French, public and separate). It is unthinkable to add additional costs, duplication and overlap to a system already in financial difficulty.

Funding religious schools within the public system would also force government to decide what constitutes a faith. It would also certainly give rise to new inequities between urban and less urban adherents to the same faith. Jews and Muslims in Toronto and Ottawa, for example, would certainly get funding, but what about in Walkerton and Pembroke? If Ontario is to fund religious schools at all it must be at arm's-length, through a tax credit or similar means that leaves it to the parents themselves to make the decisions as to which faiths are valid and where they will get support.

Better yet, Ontario should move to a single, secular, public school system equally accessible to all. We can then debate the religious school funding idea on its own merits and decide the issue on reason and logic, not fallacy.

Leonard Baak, president, Education Equality in Ontario, Ottawa.

There is an election pamphlet on their web site and some interesting stuff on the constitution.

Anonymous said...

Leonard Baak is a disgruntled father who wanted his child in the Catholic system and was turned down.

His resulting passion for "one system" mirrors his own personal anger.

Oh, and the OSSTF also moved the discussion around ONE SYSTEM. It aint going to happen.

Möbius said...

LS:

"No, I am willing to live with the Constitutional requirements. There is no need to fund separate separate schools."

Were you aware that there is no constitutional requirement to fund Catholic school beyond Grade 8?

I sure as heck wasn't.

Basically, the constitution now becomes a bogus argument.

Möbius said...

"Disconnecting the cost would mean allowing "extra billing" so that they say the costs are down, but some can no longer pay and that again attacks what holds society together."

I'm still out the $900 per year. Sounds like "extra billing" to me, except I'm pretty healthy, and don't go to the doc much.

Leonard Baak said...

Re: At Tue Sep 18, 06:43:00 PM EDT, Anonymous said…
"Leonard Baak is a disgruntled father who wanted his child in the Catholic system and was turned down.

His resulting passion for 'one system' mirrors his own personal anger.

Oh, and the OSSTF also moved the discussion around ONE SYSTEM. It aint going to happen."


Ya gotta love anonymous slander.

For the record, I am neither a disgruntled father nor did I ever want my kids in the Catholic system. Nor is my passion for one school system a reflection of personal anger. If Mr./Ms. anonymous has any evidence to support this, please do tell.

An extreme overcrowding situation in my local public school led me to try -- unsuccessfully -- to enrol my kids in our local Catholic elementary school. It was my second choice. I do not think sectarian religion has any place in publicly funded education -- never have. The duplication also costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year that could be better spent in classrooms and on vital programs and educational supports (special ed, ESL, specialist teachers (gym, librarians), etc). The separate Catholic school system is a shameful and inexcusable waste of valuable education resources. The lost opportunities stemming from that waste result in real pain that is evidenced every year in endless rounds of school board cutbacks.

My local public school was too overcrowded to accommodate all of the students in its attendance zone and could not legally add any more portables. The school board's solution was to bus junior kindergarten kids 90 minutes a day (45 minutes each way) to a less crowded school for a two and a half hour school day. I would not subject a four year old to that. For that reason, I applied to and was turned away by my local Catholic elementary school. I ended up enrolling the kids in a private school for two years at a cost of over $1700 per month to escape an overcrowding situation that my (non-Church-going) Catholic neighbours could escape for free by virtue of the "colour" of their faith.

I was shocked to discover, upon appeal to the Ministry of Education, that these publicly funded schools had an absolute and unfettered right to reject non-Catholic children until grade 9 and to reject non-Catholic teachers at all grade levels. This in a society that professes to value the fundamental equality of its citizens? I grew up in Nova Scotia, where such blatant discrimination has never been tolerated (it only continues to exist in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta -- Ontario most blatantly).

As a practicing Christian, I was equally shocked that this discriminatory status quo is not opposed by and is even defended by other Christians -- or people who profess to be of that faith. If they really loved their neighbours as themselves (remember the Great Commandment?), they would insist that all religious schools be funded equally or not at all. Everyone, including Catholics, should be equal before and under the law. Catholic and Christian teaching demands no less.

And don't give me any garbage about Catholics supporting the right of other faiths to their own funding. Polls during the recent election showed that only 15% of Ontarians supported extended religious school funding. Even if they were all Catholics (which they were not), Catholics make up 34% of the Ontario population. That would suggest that most Catholics support one school system as well or are unabashed and unapologetic bigots who favour educational choice and religious school options only for their own kind. I'll charitably assume the former.

Catholic school/Church vested interests in Ontario only offer quiet and ineffectual platitudes to other faiths with regard to extended religious school funding and only because if they didn't, they'd look like bigots. They typically only do this when the heat (and scrutiny) is on their own system. During the election, many Catholic teachers openly supported the Liberals with their unconscionable, bigoted, Catholics-first-and-only status quo position on religious school funding. The Catholic trustees, teachers union, and principals' council all applauded Liberal announcements in news releases and public comments while ignoring the fact that the Tories offered ever more money. While saying they support equal rights for other faiths, they were quietly working against those who proposed to make it a reality. They knew damned well that dividing a limited pie even further would be detrimental to all children in the existing publicly funded systems. You can see it already in current education funding.

English Catholic school boards generally receive hundreds of dollars more per pupil per year than their coterminous English public boards. French public boards similarly receive substantially more per pupil per year than their coterminous French Catholic boards, which are always the larger of the French boards. French boards universally receive thousands of dollars more per pupil per year than their coterminous English boards, whether public or Catholic. This is not favouritism of Catholic over public or of French over English, but a clear recognition in the education funding formula of the inefficiencies of smaller boards serving more dispersed student populations. The smaller boards receive higher funding to allow them to offer an educational experience of comparable quality to their larger counterparts.

My motivation is opposing the continuation of the separate Catholic system is that I agree with most Ontarians that it is wrong to segregate children by faith and it is a gross injustice to provide publicly funded school choice to the members of a single privileged faith alone. I am also interested in seeing better stewardship of the funding committed to public education and religious neutrality in government. I think a single public school system is the best way to accomplish that. Religious schools, if they are to be funded at all, should be funded at arm's length through modest tax credits that are not significant enough to promote an exodus from truly inclusive and multicultural public schools.

Attempting to ascribe my actions to hateful motives is dishonest in the extreme.

Regards,
Leonard Baak.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you, Leonard. That was very well said. I think most of us ignored the comment by Anonymous, but you make some good points.

Since this is so far back in the archives, I may do a separate new post and highlight your comment. It deserves the attention. Thanks.