Ontario’s Catholic School System Unfair but “Works”. Oh really?

May 30, 2011

Toronto Sun reporter Moira MacDonald interviewed me and other leaders of member groups of the One School System Network on our conference to defund tax-payer funded catholic schools in Ontario.  She reported on it in a Sunday column: “Catholic School Debate Too Spicy for Politicians”.  She quotes from me as follows:

Considering a provincial election is four months away, “we want to mobilize our supporters,” Justin Trottier, one of the conference organizers told me. “This is not a partisan activity … Ideally, we want to find supporters in all of the parties.”

The reporter agrees the current system with its Catholic public but separate schools open essentially only to Catholic teachers and students on the one hand and the secular public school system open to everyone without exception on the other, is fundamentally unfair. But she concludes this system works well. 


Unfortunately, that conclusion ignores the immense debt in our province certainly exacerbated by a doubling bureaucracy in education, the continued closing of both secular and catholic public schools, catholic schools shutting down libraries (while chapels stay open), catholic schools (subsidized by atheist tax payers) banning atheist literature, suspending students advocating for pro-choice at a sanctioned pro-life rally, bussing in students and allowing them to take time off school to attend an annual pro-life rally in Ottawa, prohibiting gay student clubs from forming under their chosen name of Gay-Straight Alliance, stopping a gay student from bringing his same sex partner to the prom, among examples of discrimination and waste that come immediately to mind.

If that’s what we consider a system that works, we are all in big trouble.


#1 Malcolm Buchanan (Guest) on Tuesday May 31, 2011 at 2:24pm

Public funding of Ontario’s Catholic schools is both discriminatory and socially divisive. By funding Catholic schools the government by de facto recognizes Catholicism as the official religion of Ontario. Ontario is a secular society, not a theocracy.

The Ontario government has an obligation to correct an injustice. Legislation should be adopted to abolish public funding to Catholic schools and replace the current dual education system with a single, secular publicly funded system made up of English and French language public school boards.

Schools should be places where we tear down the walls that exist between us and build the bonds that draw us together-human institutions that serve everyone in society.

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