"Funding for Catholic education in Ontario was guaranteed by the 1867 BNA Act up to the end of high school which back then was grade 10. The extension for the remaining years of high school was the last piece of legislation passed by the Davis government as part of a commitment made by Bill Davis to Cardinal Carter of Toronto. Ironically, it was Bill Davis who advised Tory to extend the funding to other faiths.
The discriminatory part of this Tory proposal is that it does not include extension to non-religious groups who also want an independent private school status -- these include such groups from Montessori to Upper Canada College, even though they are currently inspected by education officers from the Ministry and have to conform to Ministry guidelines.
Methinks Tory was ill-advised on this matter and will certainly not get my vote. Multiculturalism through educational and religious diversity is not only divisive but very expensive. In a nutshell, we can't afford to operate different systems that not only duplicate building costs and administrative personnel, but may well dilute educational programs into bird courses. For example, religion is offered by the RC system as an OAC for university admission. The marks in this course have traditionally been very high and can be used by Catholic students to gain bursaries and scholarships at the expense of students in the public school system.
Unfair -- you bet. Every whacko in the Christian community from Baptists to Creationists will want to get on this educational bandwagon, let alone the different sects of Islam. This proposal exposes Tory and his clowns for what they really are -- opportunistic political nags who are trying to win an electoral horse race by feeding the public horse shit."
About the "fairness" issue that I'm sure Tory will use in debates, I came across this comment at A Step To The Right:
John Heder said,
September 11, 2007 at 9:04 am
"This thread has degenerated into a atheist/believer sideshow, let’s get back to the real issue of publicly funded faith based education. As a teacher there is an issue in this morass that stands apart from the ethical dilemmas of the general public supporting an education that is based on religious precepts.
When I graduated 10 years ago from teacher’s college I started to scan the education ads in the Globe and Mail. The vast majority of ads had the footer “We are an equal opportunity employer”, and EVERY government of Ontario position had that rider. However…upon closer inspection, every Catholic position required the applicant to provide a pastoral letter endorsing that the candidate was a practicing Catholic. Yes, in the 21st century, in Canada, in a publicly funded institution, you can still bar an applicant because of their faith.
Imagine any other publicly funded position that was open only to members of a certain faith, or political party, or sexual orientation. It sounds absurd, but under the current model of faith based schools it is not only acceptable, but somehow defensible. Somehow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms seems to have been forgotten in this specific case.
If schools remain privately funded, these hiring practices, while reprehensible, are understandable. However once an institution accepts public money it should be accountable to the general public for its ethical and legal stance on non-discriminatory hiring practices.
I am happily employed as a teacher, and have no desire to work in the Catholic system or any other faith based school for that matter. I am, however, concerned for recent graduates who may find themselves barred from teaching mathematics, history, or any other non-religious course in a Catholic school just because of the unhappy fact they weren’t born into a Catholic family.
Before we jump into extending funding to all other possible religions, I think that this very important issue must be addressed."
Again, if Tory is seeking fairness he needs to put a stop to all religious school funding.
I received another email from the retired principal:
"Whatever happened to our democratic tradition re the separation of Church and State? Methinks we should consider reminding our provincial politicians of America's original national motto, e pluribus unum, which was apparently plagiarized from an ancient recipe for salad dressing.
Anyway, e pluribus unum means "out of many, one", and amidst the current controversy re multi-faith educational funding it would mean that in a multicultural society, people in general would be best served by putting aside their religious differences, and mixing with others to form one harmonious public educational system -- a true cultural melting pot based on secularism rather than faith."
Also, it seems that a book burning moderator over at Blogging Tories didn't like the way the discussion having to do with John Tory and his ridiculous education platform was going so they closed the thread. Why not let it close because of lack of interest? What babies. The truth is that I was being ganged up on by creationists/theist/anti-evolutionists and decided to defend myself, which is completely related to the topic at hand because I'm giving legit reasons why it is baseless to put faith in the school system.
I started another thread on Blogging Tories here.
It does irk me when idiotic theists invent new definitions for words like "religious."