Why the constitution is relevant to discussion of denominational schools

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peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture
Why the constitution is relevant to discussion of denominational schools

Some on babble think the constitution is irrelevant to the discussion on denominational schools, particularly it seems those who want to end the public funding of Catholic schools in Ontario. . One reason is they focus on the BNA Act, 1867 AKA  the Constitution Act, 1867 and see this as an antiquated irrelevant document dealing with out of date issues, such as the Catholic Protestant divide in Canada, that might have some relevance in 1867 but is outdated nowadays.  Surely, they say, we have moved on to a more tolerant diverse inclusive society where such things as public funding for denominational schools, particulary Catholic schools in Ontario, are no longer warranted.  Exanples given include the relatively recent ending of public funding for denominational schools in Newfounland and Quebec and it is argued Onatrio needs to get modern, get with the times and move past that outdated irelevant constitution.

The constitution of Canada is more than the BNA act, 1867 and includes many other documents, much case law and various conventions and unwritten law and it is very relevant to any discussion on denominational schools. .  The Consitution is a "living tree" as said in the Persons case, which dealt with the rights of women to be considered "persons" in what most would consider a "modern" and "progresive" way, and as was said in the Reference Re Same Sex Mariages that dealt with same sex marriages in a "modern" and progressive way.". . Not only can our constittuion deal with denominatioal schools in a modern way,  it must be involved in any attempt to change the denominationaL shools systems. See Quebec and Newfoundland cases.

Some who want to end public funding for Catholic Schools in Ontario have some knowledge of what  happened in Quebec and Newfoundland with regard to denominational schools  so you would think they regard the consttition as relevant to the discussion.   Howver they tend to see and cite these cases as proof of how easy it would be to end public funding for Catholic schools  in Ontario. Some even go so far as to suggest a  Premier of Ontario with a legislative majority could easily g et a one sentence bill passed, the Feds would rubberstamp it and that would end the problem.- after all they say, wasnlt how this was done in other jurisisdictions?  In this perspecttve the Constitution is just a litle procedural hiccup to be overcome  in aheiving the desired goal and not worth sepending much time worrying about.

.In fact things were not that easy in Quebec and Newfoundland . There were years of debate, referenda, court challenges.. If we take the `960's Quiet Revolution in Quebec as the beginning of the end of denominational schools, we would also have to discuss  a 40 year period  the rise of a  "modern" Quebec with a distinct sense of its identify including the strength of separatism and frequent cosnittioional issues. See Referenc Re Quebec Secession . . Tying it to the situatuion in Ontario,  a reaonable estimate iis that it would take a decade of debate and divison, including litigation and frequent reference to the Constituion before we could see a profound change in the denominational school system. here. Any such change pased by the legisalture would likely not so much be rubber stampted by the feds as be part of a political debate across the country. particualry if there wree are  legal and democratic proces issues raised. Fro exampel if t\oen or more oppositon parties oppsoed the legislation, there had been no maningufl consultation with the Catholic or other communities, no referendum, and a court challenge works its way up to the Supreme court. 

 This ties in to the Manitoba Schools Question and the third reason why some who want to end public funding  for Catholic Schools in Ontario don't want to talk about the consitution -They consider they can just ignore or break the constitution when it comes to denominational schools.The immediate repsonse is that it is not as easy as some may thing to do that and the consequenes can be horrendous. What happened to Manitoba is considered one of the most divisive isues in Canadian history, exacerbated the English/French Protestant/Catholic divide to the point governments fell and Quebe separatims is strong today. it is also illegal, immoral and undoabl ,today. See Quebec and Newfoundland.

The botom line, regardless of how much those who want to end pulbic funding for Catholic schools in Ontario want to avoid consitutional discussion and legal process. they are going to have to deal with such issues if they have any hope of adhieving their objective.. The more they ignore consituional questions and legal process they more they are likely to be marginalized and irrelevant to the debate going on about a more moden inclusive school system. . 

 So. let's talk constitution.

remind remind's picture

Why? The challenges have already be made and lost in the mentioned provinces, precedents were set, and would apply to ON, end of story.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Fuck the constitution and the Queen's army they rode in on.  Why the fuck do people hide behind shit like this?  Like I said in the other thread, it's time to move on from 150-yr old ways of thinking.  Defend it all you want, the injustice is clear to see and babble should be more progressive against this strawman.  Disappointed to see babble allow this unprogressive garbage to go on.  Guess there's good catholics overseeing.  Innocent

saga saga's picture

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Can't get rid of the junk! sorry!

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For me, the constitutional question was settled here:

http://www.rabble.ca/comment/1000244/OL12-wroteNo-What-was

OL12 wrote:

No. What was upheld was the Ontario government's right to extend full funding to Catholic separate schools to the end of high school.  That is what the Bill 30 reference to the Supreme Court was all about.  The Ontario government had decided to fully fund Catholic high schools in the 1980s and some in society challenged their authority to do so. 

The Bill 30 reference determined not that Ontario was obliged to extend such funding, but that it had the authority to do so.  The purpose and meaning of the Bill 30 reference and ruling are often misrepresented -- either wilfully for self-serving purposes or out of ignorance often created by the wilful misrepresentation.

 Constitutionally, we can but do not have to fund Catholic schools.

Eliezer Zusken

The fact is a constitutional change would have to be made. And frankly I find it rather odd that in the 21st century the largest province in Canada by population, the most pluralistic and the most religiously diverse still favours one faith community to the exclusion of all others. Its not right. I have always held that either you fund all faith schools equally OR you fund none. Anything else is blatantly discriminatory.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I think an argument can be made funding all faith schools is also discriminatory.  The obvious solution is to leave faith private.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Looking for a better word than discriminatory but it sure doesn't make for a more inclusive country and society.

torontoprofessor

Saga, quoting OL2, "The Bill 30 reference determined not that Ontario was obliged to extend such funding, but that it had the authority to do so."

My impression is that Ontario was not constitutionally obliged to extend separate school funding to Grade 13 (now to Grade 12), but merely had the authority, as you state. But my impression is also that Ontario is obliged, by the Constitution, to fund the separate system up to Grade 10. That is, some of the funding is mandated by the Constitution (up to Grade 10) and some is permitted but not mandated (Grades 11 and 12).

Of course, the constitution can be amended. In fact, it has been amended ten times, frequently to deal with the question of religious schools in other provinces. According to Wikipedia's article, Amendments to the Constitution of Canada, "If a constitutional amendment only affects one province ... only the assent of that province's legislature is required." Something tells me that this is slightly inaccurate: I think that there's some complicated formula involving the federal House of Commons and the federal Senate as well. For evidence of the need for the federal government to be involved, see the wording in the Constitution Amendment Proclamation, 1997, here.

I would be surprised if the federal government stood in the way of a constitutional amendment desired by a province, if that amendment only affected that province. I know of no case where the federal government has stood in a province's way in this regard. Thus, though it would indeed require a constitutional amendment to eliminate the funding of separate boards, it could be done locally, so to speak: if the Ontario legislature wanted, it would probably go through, especially if it were backed up by a referendum (though that would not be legally necessary).

As for one babbler's proclamation, "Fuck the constitution and the Queen's army they rode in on": the constitution is surely a fallible, imperfect document. It's also amendable. And, I would argue, that having an imperfect constitution, if it is not too imperfect, is better than having no constitution at all. But that is a debate for another time.

saga saga's picture

Eliezer Zusken wrote:
The fact is a constitutional change would have to be made.

What evidence can you provide to back up that statement?

It's already been to court, and the result is as stated: We can if we wish, but do not have to fund Catholic education.

 What further evidence do you have?

 

saga saga's picture

torontoprofessor wrote:

Saga, quoting OL2, "The Bill 30 reference determined not that Ontario was obliged to extend such funding, but that it had the authority to do so."

My impression is that Ontario was not constitutionally obliged to extend separate school funding to Grade 13 (now to Grade 12), but merely had the authority, as you state. But my impression is also that Ontario is obliged, by the Constitution, to fund the separate system up to Grade 10. That is, some of the funding is mandated by the Constitution (up to Grade 10) and some is permitted but not mandated (Grades 11 and 12).

Again, can you provide a reference for that?

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

torontoprofessor wrote:

As for one babbler's proclamation, "Fuck the constitution and the Queen's army they rode in on": the constitution is surely a fallible, imperfect document. It's also amendable. And, I would argue, that having an imperfect constitution, if it is not too imperfect, is better than having no constitution at all. But that is a debate for another time.

 

Like art, sometimes it's all in how you frame it.  Well done professor, I'm open to it's values.  And debate you likely wouldn't get from me.   :)

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

saga wrote:
torontoprofessor wrote:

Saga, quoting OL2, "The Bill 30 reference determined not that Ontario was obliged to extend such funding, but that it had the authority to do so."

My impression is that Ontario was not constitutionally obliged to extend separate school funding to Grade 13 (now to Grade 12), but merely had the authority, as you state. But my impression is also that Ontario is obliged, by the Constitution, to fund the separate system up to Grade 10. That is, some of the funding is mandated by the Constitution (up to Grade 10) and some is permitted but not mandated (Grades 11 and 12).

Again, can you provide a reference for that?

 

The Supreme Court of Canada in Reference Re Bill 30

http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1987/1987rcs1-1148/1987rcs1-1148.html

found that adequate funding was necessary to ensure the consitutionally guaranteed  right of Roman Catholic separate schools supporters to reiceve an appropiate education

:--------------

   Bill 30 was also a valid exercise of the provincial power to return rights constitutionally guaranteed to separate schools by s. 93(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867. Roman Catholic separate school supporters had at Confederation a right or privilege, by law, to have their children receive an appropriate education which could include instruction at the secondary school level. The Scott Act gave separate school trustees the same powers and duties as common school trustees. The exercise of these rights was not a mere practice tolerated by the educational authorities. An adequate level of funding was required for this right to be meaningful and the Scott Act provided for proportionate funding. 

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and noted the policy of funding Catholic schools in Ontario up to Grade 10 as found in the preamble to Bill 30

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 Whereas section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867 embodies one of the essential conditions which facilitated the creation of a united Canada in 1867 by guaranteeing to Roman Catholics in Ontario certain rights and privileges with respect to denominational schools; and whereas the Roman Catholic separate schools have become a significant part of the schools system in Ontario; and whereas it has been public policy in Ontario since 1899 to provide for public funds to support education in the Roman Catholic separate schools to the end of Grade 10; and whereas it is recognized that today a basic education requires a secondary as well as an elementary education; and whereas it is just and proper and in accordance with the spirit of the guarantees given in 1867 to bring the provisions of the law respecting Roman Catholic separate schools into harmony with the provisions of the law respecting public elementary and secondary schools, by providing legislative recogni‑ tion of and funding for secondary education by Roman Catholic separate schools..(emphasis added)..

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Therefore the court held it was appropriate in terms of the section 93 guarantees for Ontario to bring the funding up from the Grade 10 level. 

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RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

The jig is up.  Just a matter of a level-headed demolition of pre-fab model homes.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

 A good source for discussion on Catholic Schools and the Constitution from the Catholic point of view can be found at:

http://www.ocecn.net/enduring_gift.htm .

Here;the author discusses Tiny v. The King  ,dealing with the guarantee of funding for Catholic Schools up to Grade 10. 

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In 1925, Catholics in the Township of Tiny (Simcoe County) launched the legal challenge poetically named “Tiny vs. The King.” By 1928, the highest court of appeal in the British Empire — the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council — offered a bittersweet decision on the Catholic high school issue: Catholics, due to the pre-Confederation precedents and the subsequent development of the “fifth book” continuation classes had just claims to funding for grades nine and ten; but Catholics had no constitutional right to funding beyond that, although the Provincial Government was at liberty to grant it, if it desired.

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saga saga's picture

It's a francophone community.

makes total sense now.

thanks

I still support one system, with religious/language/cultural  accommodation.

In high school back then, near there, I was still sad that we couldn't all do our different things (Fr/Eng, Cath/non) and still be together at school ... like we were at the rink.

 

 

riffraffrenegade

Here is an interesting letter from Raymond Callery, President of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers (AMCTO) to Paula Peroni, President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustee Association.

http://www.amcto.com/wb3/db2file.asp?fileid=24591

I am wondering whether anybody is asking how MPAC verifies that ratepayers are indeed Catholic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to be Catholic in order to indicate your support for Separate schools and vote for Catholic school trustees. It is the law, right?

Doesn't it follow that if a parent has to produce a child's Catholic baptismal certificate to gain entry into a Catholic school that the same evidence should be produced when indicating your support via MPAC which allows one to vote for a Catholic school trustee? As Peroni and Callery point out, these numbers are critical as they influence public policy makers and thus should be accurate. 

If the religious school funding question does go to referendum and we want to establish the Roman Catholic religious minority's stance, then how do we then verify who is indeed Catholic? Will our word be sufficient as it is for Census Canada, will we need a baptismal certificate or are we going to need letters from our parish priest?

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
But Catholic school funding can't be withdrawn without a bilateral constitutional amendment, agreed upon by the Ontario legislature and the federal Parliament. So the question for those in favour of secularization becomes: Is it possible to amend the constitutional clause that guarantees funding for Catholics?

"If you don't have a strong consensus -- not unanimity ... but a strong, very large, very solid consensus -- there's no point in trying to get a constitutional amendment, because it won't go very far," said Jacques Brassard, who served as Quebec's intergovernmental affairs minister when the Constitution was amended for Quebec school boards. "If profound divisions exist, if the debate is heated and does not end in a consensus, forget about a constitutional amendment. Forget about it."

[url=Source[/url]">http://osgoode.yorku.ca/media2.nsf/5457ed39bc56dbfd852571e900728656/b8c7...

oldgoat

I find it unacceptable that defunding of the Catholic system would be undoable.  That it would be difficult I accept, but I feel it's pretty clear that the difficulties involve more political will than legal hurdles.

In reference to the OP, I fully agree that the constitution should be regarded as a living document, and the Persons case as cited is relevant.  Look at the social assuptions which existed excluding women as independant legal entities in 1867.  Whithout either defending or castigating the original framers of the contitution, clearly by the early 20th century, these assumptions had no foundation and were set aside.

In the political context of 1867, anything other than a seperate school system would likely have been a deal breaker for the constitution.  The rancor and distrust between the French/anglo, and Catholic/Protestant entities in Lower and Upper Canada was so deep that this was all that was probably possible.  There is no way either community would have been trusted to educate the others children.  It was a compromise founded in bigotry and mutual emnity, and now has come to be seen as set in concrete.

I do not pretend to be an expert in constitutional law, and others can work out the details, but as this country enters the 21st century, having a Catholic seperate school system is an embarresment.  The statement that we should fund none or all has merit, but turning our public school system into a bunch of religiously defined compartments is absurd.  One strong publicly supported education system for all!

Quote:
Fuck the constitution and the Queen's army they rode in on.

I might eschew to use just that phraseology as an opening sentence in a presentation before the Supreme Court, should I ever be in such a position, but I heartily endorse the sentiment.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

This is one initiative I'm happy to be optomistic that I will see in my lifetime.  At least 1 babble post per day if I can.  :)

Caissa

A problem results when we suggest "Expletive the Constitution" under any circumstances. What stops someone from adopting this approach to something we hold near and dear to our hearts? As much as I believe the school system should be secular and public in all provinces and territories, I do not believe the constitutional issues are trivial.

OL12 OL12's picture

oldgoat wrote:
I find it unacceptable that defunding of the Catholic system would be undoable. That it would be difficult I accept, but I feel it's pretty clear that the difficulties involve more political will than legal hurdles.

Of course the defunding of the Catholic system is doable. Even the government admits as much. They just [url=appeal">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/there-principled-progressive-... to history[/url] like many here in this forum do and insist "[url=it">http://www2.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=70693b47...'s the system we inherited, so there[/url]".

The political difficulties are indeed the bulk of the battle, as Ontario's absurd present day situation (where most want to defund the Catholic system, but cannot find a champion) illustrates. The legal path to accomplish the change, once a government is set on it, is well tested and straightforward. It takes a matter of months from amendment request to proclamation of the amendment as law. It is getting to the point where the provincial government will submit an amendment request to Ottawa that is the rocky road. We have a provincial legislature full of intolerant bigots -- or spineless cowards who will not challenge them.

OL12 OL12's picture

riffraffrenegade wrote:

Here is an interesting letter from Raymond Callery, President of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers (AMCTO) to Paula Peroni, President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustee Association.

  http://www.amcto.com/wb3/db2file.asp?fileid=24591

I am wondering whether anybody is asking how MPAC verifies that ratepayers are indeed Catholic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to be Catholic in order to indicate your support for Separate schools and vote for Catholic school trustees. It is the law, right?

Doesn't it follow that if a parent has to produce a child's Catholic baptismal certificate to gain entry into a Catholic school that the same evidence should be produced when indicating your support via MPAC which allows one to vote for a Catholic school trustee? As Peroni and Callery point out, these numbers are critical as they influence public policy makers and thus should be accurate.

As school support designations no longer affect school board funding levels (as acknowledged in this letter and in annual Catholic school board advertising urging Catholic ratepayers to tick the "correct" box), who cares whether or not municipal clerks demand Catholic credentials from people identifying themselves as Catholic ratepayers?

The whole "school support designation" exercise is now about political optics and nothing else. By maximizing the numbers of identified Catholic school "supporters", the Catholic school preservation lobby can appear more intimidating to politicians who think it might be high time we treated other Ontarians fairly and equitably (and we know they won't do that by funding all!).

This "credentials verification" campaign by the Catholic trustees' association is a response to the experience of the [url=Brant">http://www.bhncdsb.ca/index.php/][u]Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board[/url] in the last municipal election, when a non-Catholic Brantford resident, Peter Jones, changed his school support designation to "Catholic" and ran for Catholic school trustee on a one school system platform. That presented Catholic ratepayers with [url=a">http://www.oneschoolsystem.org/LBaakBrantfordExpositor14Mar2007.html][co... rare opportunity to express support for one school system[/url] without fear of retribution against them or their children. It enraged the local Catholic school board, bringing embarrasement and undermining their claim to be a solid, intimidating, electoral block.

What the Catholic trustees don't understand is that many Catholics support one school system, as was evidenced in the support for the Jones' candidacy in the 2006 election. I predict there will be a quite a few Catholics running for Catholic trustee on a one school system platform in the next municipal election. I, for one, can hardly wait. Many Catholic ratepayers will appreciate the opportunity to say "yes" to one school system -- on a secret ballot, of course.  Innocent 

OL12 OL12's picture

riffraffrenegade wrote:
Here is an interesting letter from Raymond Callery, President of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers (AMCTO) to Paula Peroni, President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustee Association.

Very interesting.  I wondered when reading the letter referenced in [url=your">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/why-constituion-relevant-disc... post[/url] whether Mr. Raymond Callery was a member of the Catholic Church/education vested interests.  I just couldn’t see the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks, and Treasurers really giving a damn about the Catholic trustees’ assessment roll accuracy campaign – especially for the lame reasons given in the letter.  It doesn’t make any sense to add new layers of municipal bureaucracy when all that does is create completely unnecessary new tasks for municipal clerks (remember that school "support" designations have no effect on school board funding levels).  Ontarians have better things to be spending our tax dollars on – like education and health care.  Ontarians are also not harmed by the odd non-Catholic identifying himself as a Catholic ratepayer – except for perhaps making the number of Catholic school supporters look artificially high.  It made me wonder whether their might be an undeclared conflict of interest lurking in the shadows.

There are exactly two R. Callery entries in Canada 411 (Napanee and Sundridge).  I Googled Callery’s name and discovered he is the Chief Administrative Officer of the town of Napanee (sounds like our guy).  I also discovered there is a Ray Callery involved as a communion server with St Patrick’s Catholic Church, also in Napanee, and that a Raymond Callery’s father in law was 4th degree Knights of Columbus. 

Hmmm.  Could Raymond Callery of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks, and Treasurers and Ray Callery the super-Catholic of the same hometown be one and the same?

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

riffraffrenegade wrote:
Here is an interesting letter from Raymond Callery, President of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers (AMCTO) to Paula Peroni, President of the Ontario Catholic School Trustee Association.

http://www.amcto.com/wb3/db2file.asp?fileid=24591

I am wondering whether anybody is asking how MPAC verifies that ratepayers are indeed Catholic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you have to be Catholic in order to indicate your support for Separate schools and vote for Catholic school trustees. It is the law, right?

Doesn't it follow that if a parent has to produce a child's Catholic baptismal certificate to gain entry into a Catholic school that the same evidence should be produced when indicating your support via MPAC which allows one to vote for a Catholic school trustee? As Peroni and Callery point out, these numbers are critical as they influence public policy makers and thus should be accurate. 

If the religious school funding question does go to referendum and we want to establish the Roman Catholic religious minority's stance, then how do we then verify who is indeed Catholic? Will our word be sufficient as it is for Census Canada, will we need a baptismal certificate or are we going to need letters from our parish priest?

 

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This would be an excellent post to discuss in this  thread, particularly for those who have read the letter from AMCTO .     The  AssociationMunicipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers (AMCTO )  members are the ones who run and adjudicate on muncipal elections, When their members  prepare the municipal voting lists, the  major tool is municipal assessment  , and , fFor our purposes, municipal asessment is the main tools usd by AMCTO members, for determining a set of key legal and democratic questions, who is eligible to vote for any of the different  school boards in the 4 schools system?. .

One problem they agree needs to be fixed is the making the registratation of what board you support a mandatory,  rather than a voluntary box to  tick off when ytou buy a new home. . Tied in as a problem to fix, is the  default ruling for electoral purposes  that if you did not tick off any box, then you are deemed eligible to vote for the  Englsh Public School stsyem, and only the English Public System. The clerks can only  allow you  to vote for the French ot Catholic Boards if you make a clear and direct opting out of the default option English Public and declaring your support for one of the 3 other schools sytem tthen and only then will you be allowed to vorte for a trustee in that system and to have some sembalnce of a say in the running of that school system.

This is all tied in to discuccions about local  assessment  ,local accountability versus certralized Minsityr funding and control  , why the Family Compact encouraged  Methodist leader Egerton Ryerson, to  set  up the common non -denominatiooh but definitely Christian and definitely Protestant school system,  the Scott Act,  and why the Supreme Court held up the constituion requires proper funding fo Catholic schools

and how should  we deal with the funding prolems faced by our 4 boards - merge them , expand, them, cut them back  ? Not can  other denominations be included in our system, but rather howother  denominations are to be included.

OL12 OL12's picture

Responding for a moment to Peter's faultly logic in [url=our">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/there-principled-progressive-... previous thread[/url]:

peterjcassidy wrote:
According to OL12, using the Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary as authority, anyone who is unwilling to publicly fund denominational schools in Ontario, other than Catholic Schools, is intolerant and bigoted.

Misrepresenting my words, Peter? (Another fallacy -- setting up a straw man and lighting it on fire)  I said nothing of the kind. I first laid out the [url=definition">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant][... of intolerant[/url] for the benefit of those in the discussion who clearly didn't know what it meant or who would apply the word inappropriately. Then I laid out the options for addressing the discriminatory status quo in our school system: fund all religious schools or fund none. I made it pretty clear where I stand -- for the "fund none" option:

OL12 wrote:
[url=intolerant[/url]">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant][=mediumblu...

...

2 a: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : [url=BIGOTED[/url]">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigoted][=mediumblue]B...

...

I would like to direct people's attention to definition 2 specifically, because [b]the failure of our government to grant equal rights to non-Catholic Ontarians with respect to educational choice and related employment opportunities is textbook intolerance.

How could the government show equal respect and consideration for people of non-Catholic faith or no faith? Why by funding all religious schools or none, of course.

...

The last election made it pretty clear the electorate will never agree to the "fund all" solution to the discrimination problem. Polls during the same election indicated that the majority support the "fund none" option. It is time to end government largesse for the Catholic faith exclusively. The Ontario government should show equal respect and consideration for people of all faiths. The [u]best way to do that is by merging the public and Catholic school systems into one school system.

...

Maintaining the status quo, which favours one faith with exclusive rights and privileges not granted to any other, is textbook intolerance. It is only people who would favour or promote the status quo as an option who I would label (rightly) as "intolerant".

Thankfully, and to their credit, most Ontarians favour one school system ("fund none"). Most Ontarians are therefore not intolerant. There is hope for a better day.

For the record, I can respectfully disagree with the "fund all" proponents. At least their proposal is consistent and principled. It does not offend their neighbours' fundamental equality rights.

I cannot respect the views of those who suggest they should keep a privilege that no one else can have or share in. That is intolerance and bigotry, plain and simple, and is an [url=offence[/url]">http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22:37-40][b][color=m... against the God they presume to serve.

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"...with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent."
- Pope Paul VI, PASTORAL CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD, 7 Dec 1965.
 
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"Finally, government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens."
- Pope Paul VI, DECLARATION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, 7 Dec 1965.
 
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"...religious discrimination is an offence against the dignity of the human person; a contradiction to the sincere respect which is owed to other faiths, and an offence against charity."
- Canadian College of Catholic Bishops, Eliminate Racial and Religious Discrimination:  See Every Person as My Sister or Brother, 21 Mar 2004.
 
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St. Paul's Prog...

peterjcassidy wrote:
the Family Compact encouraged Methodist leader Egerton Ryerson, to set up the common non -denominatiooh but definitely Christian and definitely Protestant school system

Nonsense.  That may have been true in the 19th century, but having attended Harbord and Oakwood collegiates in Toronto in the 1950s, that wasn't the case even when I was growing up.  And I certainly wouldn't have put my kids in the public school system if it was "Christian" or "Protestant."

saga saga's picture

peterjcassidy wrote:

 A good source for discussion on Catholic Schools and the Constitution from the Catholic point of view can be found at:

http://www.ocecn.net/enduring_gift.htm .

Here;the author discusses Tiny v. The King  ,dealing with the guarantee of funding for Catholic Schools up to Grade 10. 

-----------------------

 

In 1925, Catholics in the Township of Tiny (Simcoe County) launched the legal challenge poetically named “Tiny vs. The King.” By 1928, the highest court of appeal in the British Empire — the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council — offered a bittersweet decision on the Catholic high school issue: Catholics, due to the pre-Confederation precedents and the subsequent development of the “fifth book” continuation classes had just claims to funding for grades nine and ten; but Catholics had no constitutional right to funding beyond that, although the Provincial Government was at liberty to grant it, if it desired.

 --------------

 

So ... are people here suggesting that this clourt battle should be fought again?

I would think that would be necessary before you could propose a policy that is apparently already legally sunk.

 

 

 

saga saga's picture

OL12 wrote:

Responding for a moment to Peter's faultly logic in [url=our">http://www.rabble.ca/babble/central-canada/there-principled-progressive-... previous thread[/url]:

peterjcassidy wrote:
According to OL12, using the Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary as authority, anyone who is unwilling to publicly fund denominational schools in Ontario, other than Catholic Schools, is intolerant and bigoted.

Misrepresenting my words, Peter? (Another fallacy -- setting up a straw man and lighting it on fire)  I said nothing of the kind. I first laid out the [url=definition">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant][... of intolerant[/url] for the benefit of those in the discussion who clearly didn't know what it meant or who would apply the word inappropriately. Then I laid out the options for addressing the discriminatory status quo in our school system: fund all religious schools or fund none. I made it pretty clear where I stand -- for the "fund none" option:

OL12 wrote:
[url=intolerant[/url]">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant][=mediumblu...

...

2 a: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : [url=BIGOTED[/url]">http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigoted][=mediumblue]B...

...

I would like to direct people's attention to definition 2 specifically, because [b]the failure of our government to grant equal rights to non-Catholic Ontarians with respect to educational choice and related employment opportunities is textbook intolerance.

How could the government show equal respect and consideration for people of non-Catholic faith or no faith? Why by funding all religious schools or none, of course.

...

The last election made it pretty clear the electorate will never agree to the "fund all" solution to the discrimination problem. Polls during the same election indicated that the majority support the "fund none" option. It is time to end government largesse for the Catholic faith exclusively. The Ontario government should show equal respect and consideration for people of all faiths. The [u]best way to do that is by merging the public and Catholic school systems into one school system.

...

Maintaining the status quo, which favours one faith with exclusive rights and privileges not granted to any other, is textbook intolerance. It is only people who would favour or promote the status quo as an option who I would label (rightly) as "intolerant".

Thankfully, and to their credit, most Ontarians favour one school system ("fund none"). Most Ontarians are therefore not intolerant. There is hope for a better day.

For the record, I can respectfully disagree with the "fund all" proponents. At least their proposal is consistent and principled. It does not offend their neighbours' fundamental equality rights.

I cannot respect the views of those who suggest they should keep a privilege that no one else can have or share in. That is intolerance and bigotry, plain and simple, and is an [url=offence[/url]">http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22:37-40][b][=m... against the God they presume to serve.

A little over the line, imo, flinging God's judgments around for 'him', as if divinely qualified to do so.

Regardless of what may be viewed as ideal,

there is a little matter of constitutional law to attend to.

Do you have a comment on the precedents presented by peter?

Does anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Nope, they're easily squashed by a 21st century justice.  Why comment on the taste of red herrings?

OL12 OL12's picture

Linking this thread to related discussions for the benefit of those of us who never tire of discussing Ontario's wasteful and discriminatory dual school systems (until there is one anyway Wink):

 

Jan 13, 2010: In Ontario, in education, it pays to be Catholic II (full day kindergarten)

Jan 7, 2010:   Ontario NDP Education Task Force starts

Oct 1, 2009:   Catholic school fires teacher for changing God-given gender

Sep 26, 2009: In Ontario, in education, it still pays to be Catholic

Mar 25, 2009: Why the constitution is relevant to discussion of denominational schools

Mar 13, 2009: Is there a principled, progressive case for continued support for funding separate schools?

lepidoptera

It's very clear after looking over this and all other threads on the subject of Catholic schools in Ontario that there is nothing to justify the continued existence of this shamefully discriminatory and wasteful system.  The constitutional, waste and discrimination points in favour of eliminating this system in favour of a single secular system , are flawless.  The only real arguement that I have heard from advocates of the status quo is " we really like this special privilege...go away, leave us alone" 

In the next municipal election I will be a candidate for Catholic trustee on a one school system platform. I hope to show, with favourable results, that it is NOT political suicide for provincial politicians to propose moving to one school system.  I know that there are a lot of sensible folks in the Catholic community who agree that the Catholic system should be eliminated.  I've been at this for several years now and after all the research, letters and discussions I've had on the subject, I have come to my own conclusion as to what is the most damaging of the numerous injustices regarding this subject....if you grew up in Ontario, you'll will remember that as a kid, in every neighbourhood in every community in this province, there were the Catholic kids and the non-Catholic kids. If you're old like me, you'll remember kids referred to each other as Catholics and Protestants. This segregation which was thrust upon the children was solely because of the school system. That just ain't right.  How many more generations of kids can we allow to be brain washed like this?

Lord Palmerston

lepidoptera wrote:
The only real arguement that I have heard from advocates of the status quo is " we really like this special privilege...go away, leave us alone"

Or we think you're right in principle, but there are more important issues and if we run on this we will lose votes and then not be able to get elected and put in those (undefined to date) bold, radical, exciting, dynamic policies on behalf of Ontario's working class.

Good luck in your campaign

OL12 OL12's picture

Re:

Lord Palmerston wrote:
there are more important issues and if we run on this we will lose votes

All of the "more important issues" (hospitals, education, retraining initiatives, public infrastructure, care for the elderly, etc) are affected by continuing to fund relatively unimportant priorities like religious education that parents could take care of themselves at no cost to the taxpayer if they actually crossed the threshold of a Church once in a while.

There are indeed "more important issues" and those priority issues are not getting priority because the Ontario government wastes a lot of money it could spend on them on far less important and questionable "priorities" like Catholic school funding.

Do you think waiting list for life saving medical care or wait times for seeing a doctor are too long?  Do you think schools are adequately funded?  Do you think public infrastructure is well maintained?  Do you think the elderly and infirm get the care and attention they need?  If not, and you support continued funding for less important things like Catholic school funding which should not even be a government "priority", then you are largely responsible for all that pain.  When you can't properly fund "the really important things", funding for the less important things has to go.

The health of "more important" social programs is inextricably tied to the continuation of relatively unimportant non-essentials like Catholic school funding.  The time to end the later was decades ago.

As for votes, the one school system idea is the public preference over our wasteful and discriminatory status quo.  If there was a party pushing it hard and pointing out to Ontarians the nature of the either-or choices that confront them in dealing with Ontario's gargantuan deficit and debt, they would vote for the idea in droves.  It would draw a lot more votes than it pushes away, particularly given that two Vector Research polls conducted since 2001 show that even a majority of Catholics support one school system.

Lord Palmerston

I wonder if there's any data showing what proportion of separate school parents would put their kids in private parochial schools and what proportion would keep their kids in the public system if we ended funding for Catholic schools?  It of course makes no difference as to whether this is a just cause, but it is something to think about.

OL12 OL12's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:
I wonder if there's any data showing what proportion of separate school parents would put their kids in private parochial schools and what proportion would keep their kids in the public system if we ended funding for Catholic schools?

I'd guess it would be about the same proportion as attend private schools now.  As of 2006, a little over 5% of Ontario students attended private schools, with 90% of those attending religious private schools.  So 95% of the students in Catholic schools today will probably join the public school system when the Catholic system is eliminated (note my optimism Wink).

The 5% that continue with the then private Catholic schools will contribute to the savings that one school system would bring.  I could be wrong, though, it could be less than 5%.  There are already private Catholic schools in Ontario, which suggests that some Catholic parents don't think much of the Catholic character of the public Catholic schools and seek out a private alternative that is actually religious in more than name.  One thing that having to pay some of your hard earned money guarantees is that the parents chosing the private Catholic schools will actually be committed to its religious mission.  I'll bet almost all the families using private Catholic schools attend Church, verses almost none at public Catholic schools.

Lord Palmerston

I know that in the Jewish community in the GTA about 30% are in parochial schools.  I would guess a similar proportion of Catholics would do so if there were no publicly funded Catholic schools.

ETA: It is 15% in the US.

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_schools_in_the_United_States#Enrol... Schools in the United States[/url]:

Quote:
The United States had 7,498 Catholic schools in 2006-07, including 6,288 elementary schools and 1,210 secondary schools. In total there were 2,320,651 students, including 1,682,412 students in the elementary/middle schools and 638,239 in high schools.[1] Enrollment in the nation’s Catholic schools has steadily dropped to less than half of its peak at five million students 40 years ago, The New York Times reported in early 2009. At its peak in 1965, the number of U.S. parochial schools was more than 12,000, and roughly half of all Catholic children in America attended Catholic elementary schools, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. The same share in 2009 is about 15 percent. Among Latinos, the fastest-growing church group — soon to comprise a majority of Catholics in the United States — it is three percent. The article also reported on "dozens of local efforts" to turn the tide, including by the Archdiocese of Chicago and Washington, D.C. and dioceses in Memphis and Wichita, Kansas, as well as in the New York City metro area. [2]

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

I would appreciate  information and serious discussion on how the public schools in Ontario- English Catholic, English non-denominational,  French Catholic, French non-denominational -  are funded and should be funded.  My understanding is that with the loss of the right of local communities to taxx and fund locally, just about all the funding comes from the province and is based on a set of formulas such as per cap and building grants. Exceptions would be the rental of space to community groups, "bake sales"  money from soft drink and snack machines and other forms of privitization , commercialization of our public spaces..

I believe the key formula has a per cap amount paid to the public school boards for every student enrolled in that school board.  iI say 1,000 kids enter  the Anytown English non-denominational public school board system in 2010, because hey have just come of age to go to school or their parents have moved to Anytown recently, AND  the parents have chosen to place their child in an Anytown English non-denominational public school board  this is worth millions a year to that Board. The key is the demand of the kids and parents in  a particular juridcison for thar  type of schooling-public in French or English, Catholic i or non-denominational- as opposed to private school or home schooling.

  But if during  2010  1,500  kids leave  that Anytown English non-denominational public board for whatever reason - graduated, moved to an nother  communities, or the Anytown parents chose to exercise the right to  place their children into one of the French public schools or into an Anytown English public Catholic school  or into a private school or home school them, - that costs that particular board millions of dollars a year. The argument of the funder is obviously that if there are less children served by that particular board, there is less need for funding, more kids, more funding. and that seems on the fce of it reasonable. So, are those concerned about funding concerned about the per cap amount, they want it raised higher, or are there concerns abut how that per cap is calculated? What about funding for special needs kids or expanding the number of computers in a school board, or relationship to class size, number of teachers, principals, custodians,  any info on how the founding  works or doesn't work? If people what to argue more money goes to Catholic or French schools as distinct from English and non=denominational, please provide data and the source of your data. If people want to argue money should be taken from French or Catholci schools board to be given to English or non-denominational schools, how would that work and how and why are the English or non-denominational schools not getting properly funded now.

Another key element of  funding is grants to build new schools,  based primarily  on the particular board argument over anticipated demand within  a catchment area  for a school to be built and operated by that particular Board, It seems that there are concerns.about proving the anticipated demand  in different areas of a school board jurisdiction while spending scare resprices exapanid the capacity of  high enrollment schools (portables anyone?) and justifying not  closing low enrollment schools or increasing class sizes.

To give a simplistic example of the sort of concerns possible - consider  the Anytown English non-denominational public school board getting 1,000 new students in 2010 and losing 1,500, On the per cap side it will get less money in 2010 then it got in 2009., and if the trend continues it will continue to have its per cap  funding reduced. Seems fair , right?  However in  the  eastern part of this school board jurisdiction it is anticitated  that over the next few years  and into the next  decade or so, there will be  high growth in the number of elementary school aged children whose parents will want  an English  public non-denomination elementary school for their children.  That particular Anytown board should get funding within the next few years to  build a new school in the eastern area.But how big will that school be, what resources will it have- a music room, swimming pool, state of the art computers?  Of course with a new school you need money to maintain it, year after year,  everything from teachers and a principal. vice principal ,support staff  and caretakers to  heating and chalk for the blackboard., So with dwcldinig enrollment within the overall juridiction of the board and a new school being built, how will funding change over the next few years.

To complicate matters  this Anytown Board may have a number of schools operating under capacity  with declining enrollment predicted over the next decade and on.. Say there are 6 high schools in the western part of the Anytown English non denominational board who could on average comfortably accommodate 400 students each and up to 600 if pressed.-  a total capacity of 3,600 students. Currently only about 2,300 students are enrolled in these 6  schools and it is projected that  over the next few years enrollment in those 6  high schools will drop below 2,000 and will likely continue to be below 2,000 for the next decade and more.students in grades 11 and 12 will leave soon, the number of children in feeder elementary schools is lwo.  there are It would seem absolutely necessary  to close at least one of those 6 schools, leaving 5 schools in that region with a combined capacity of 3,000, easily able to deal with the 2,300 currently enrolled  and the projected enrollment of under 2,000  over the next decade. There would be significant revenue from selling off the under used assets and  significant savings on operating costs.

In this simplistic model used for illustration purposes only, the Anytown English public non-denominational school board  would be getting less money in 2010 and  future years for the per cap amount  because the enrollment in this  particular school board is dropping , get money to build and maintain a new English public non-denomination elementary school in the east,  where the demand is proven , and be under pressure  to save the taxpayers money by closing one, tow or more  low demand English public non-denominatial high schools in areas where  the demand is low dropping. What's the problem with the funding formula- is it in the per cap amount or how that amount is calculated, , the new school grant, funding ESL,  whatever  and what can the NDP offer to fix it  Similar dynamics would be at work on the Anytown English public Catholic Board and the French boards,   .If you want to argue against funding Catholic schools or French schools what changes would you make in the funding  formula   to "enrich"  the English non denominational Boards.

solidarity

Peter

OL12 OL12's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:

I know that in the Jewish community in the GTA about 30% are in parochial schools.  I would guess a similar proportion of Catholics would do so if there were no publicly funded Catholic schools.

Comparing Catholics to Jews with respect to the importance they place on religious schools would not be comparing apples to apples.  Members of the Jewish community place a very high importance on religious education largely for the effect segregation has on intermarriage.  Google "silent holocaust" or "intermarriage holocaust" sometime and you will see what I mean.  Orthodox Jews, in particular, are very afraid of their kids leaving the Jewish faith if they intermarry with someone from another faith.  Their own statistics confirm that Jews don't stay Jewish if they intermarry, and one of the best ways to prevent intermarriage is segregated Jewish education and community.  Less than 2% of Ontarians are Jewish.  98%+ of the "fish" in the Ontario sea, therefore, are non-Jewish.  Catholics and other Christians simply do not have the same fear that their children will intermarry outside of the Christian faith and become non-Christian (and go to hell).  Most Christians today, not just Catholics, don't really give much of a squat about religion anymore, again unlike the Jewish community which is typically quite observant.

The US is more religiously observant than Canada.  Where is your quote from?

Lord Palmerston

OL12 wrote:
Most Christians today, not just Catholics, don't really give much of a squat about religion anymore, again unlike the Jewish community which is typically quite observant.

You are quite wrong about that.  Canadian Jews are actually less religious on average than Canadians generally.  Something like only 10% of Canadian Jews regularly attend synagogue while for Catholics outside of Quebec it is something like one-third.   But you are probably right about the role of the day schools play in terms of ethnic cohesion (and for the Orthodox - virtually all are in parochial schools for obvious reasons).

It's true that the US is more religious than Canada but the Catholic population in Canada is more privileged in economic terms.  I didn't realize it had fallen to 15% there.

But regardless it's pretty clear a majority would opt for the public system.

ETA: I was pretty close.  [url=http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=c1dba818-76d9-4... Catholics Keeping the Faith, but Dropping the Doctrine[/url]:

Quote:
Roman Catholics in Quebec still believe in their religion, but put little faith in the church's doctrine -significantly concerning sexuality.

That's the conclusion of new study of Catholicism in Quebec by Alberta sociologist Reginald W. Bibby.

The report says that while regular church attendance in Quebec is the lowest on the continent, "religion has not gone away."

Only one out of five Catholics in Quebec goes to church at least once a month, compared with two out of five in the rest of the country. Even if Quebecers aren't churchgoers, Bibby's sampling revealed that 85 per cent -- or 5.9-million Quebecers still claim to be Roman Catholics, even if they aren't fully aware of church teaching.

They continue to pray, profess the Creed, and expect the church to marry them, bury them and baptize their children.

"Catholicism in Quebec remains highly pervasive," Bibby writes. "Large numbers of Catholics who have limited involvement in the church indicate they would be receptive to greater participation if the church can touch their lives in a significant way."

The paradox is that the majority of those who say they are Catholics no longer subscribe to many of the church's doctrines.

"Catholics in Quebec are far more inclined than Canadians as a whole to approve of the use of artificial birth control, premarital sex, divorce, homosexuality, and the availability of legal abortion when the mother's health is endangered," Bibby writes.

The report's findings aren't sitting well with some members of Quebec's Catholic Church.

Bishop Lionel Gendron, rector the Grand Seminary in Montreal, where about 50 men are studying for the priesthood, says Bibby's report is superficial.

"I think it's an oversimplification," Gendron said. "There is a doctrinal core to Roman Catholicism that is very important, and often the secularized world does not accept the doctrine. You can't reject the doctrine and still claim to believe. The problem is why don't people who say they are Catholics come to church?"

janfromthebruce

Quickly reading over your thread Peter, I would suggest that combining our public education system into French and English speaking would eliminate the duplication of administration, resources, services, and buildings. It thus would free up money that could be plowed back into the classroom, special education, greening of remaining school buildings, and the elimination of "user fees." Also, when I say plowed back into the classroom, I mean we could the money to hire more teachers, staff libraries, TAs, SWers, and others.

 

I think that the question needs to go to the basic: what should how education dollars support - programs or infrastructure? it may be simple but it eliminates the need to talk of religion or not. In fact, in a system such as this, religious instruction could be provided to those who want it and where numbers warrent. Say during lunch and after school, and not just be limited to RCs.

Lord Palmerston

Exactly.  I don't think the education budget should be cut to save money or for "efficiency" at all.  It's about improving education, and for ending discrimination.

Lord Palmerston

[url=http://www.gopetition.com/online/33681.html]Support One (1 English 1 French) Public Funded School System for Ontario[/url]

Quote:
Whereas Canada/Ontario was found in violation of its international human rights obligations by the United nations Human Rights Committee in 1999 and again in 2005 by virtue of discrimination in the funding of Roman Catholic schools in Ontario;

Whereas the termination of public funding for religion-based schools by the governments of Quebec and Newfoundland has negated the constitutional rationale for public funding of Roman Catholic schools;

Whereas the Ontario Legislature has the power to eliminate public funding to the Roman Catholic school system by passing legislation to that effect, as was done by the legislature of Manitoba;

Whereas the religious segregation of Ontario children undermines the role of public schools in fostering tolerance and respect between Ontarians of different backgrounds; and

Whereas the ONDP has always advocated and supported equality and equity for all Ontarians in the delivery of public services;

Therefore Be It Resolved that the ONDP supports one secular publicly funded and accountable school system, and permit where appropriate, religious instruction in any faith in publicly funded schools outside regular instructional hours.

Lord Palmerston

I wonder if someone will start a petition saying "We oppose discussing Catholic school funding, not because we believe in it, but because it will cost us votes."

OL12 OL12's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:
I wonder if someone will start a petition saying "We oppose discussing Catholic school funding, not because we believe in it, but because it will cost us votes."

I think lost votes is the fear of some, but it is rubbish.  Catholics are only 34% of the Ontario population and about half of them already support one school system.  Even those that would prefer that Catholic school funding continue aren't necessarily going to change their vote just because their party finally acknowledges that exclusively Catholic religious school funding is both discriminatory and wasteful.  Many of them would welcome the opportunity to plow savings from new efficiencies into preserving or enhancing other (truly essential) educational services or properly maintaining our rotting schools.

You don't lose net votes by adopting a policy like one school system that is supported by a clear majority of the population.  For a struggling third place party like the NDP, adopting a popular policy like one school system can turn their fortunes around.  That is especially true at a time when continued Catholic school funding means more cuts have to be made elsewhere -- some ironically in other education spending.

OL12 OL12's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:
I wonder if someone will start a petition saying "We oppose discussing Catholic school funding, not because we believe in it, but because it will cost us votes."

Does the ONDP really want the votes of religiously intolerant bigots anyway?  Is that who they are catering to?  Because that is exactly what people who think we should continue religious school funding for Catholics exclusively are.  They just might not be ready to admit that darker side of their nature yet.  Let's call a spade a spade.  Thankfully I think the "fund one -- mine!" bigots are a small percentage of the population.  It is ironic that these people even call themselves Christians, believing as they DON'T in God's Great Commandment to "love thy neighbour as thyself".

Either we fund all religious schools (ridiculously divisive and cost prohibitive) or we fund none.  The 2007 election made it abundantly clear that "fund all" is never going to fly in Ontario.  So what are we to do then?

People who find the discrimination and waste in our school system abhorrent and outrageous -- that is, most of the population and many Catholics -- will flock to a party the proposes to do something about it.  Much more important funding priorities -- truly essential services like health care, elderly care, child care, etc -- will suffer if we continue to unnecessarily bleed funds into non-essentials like Catholic school funding.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

janfromthebruce wrote:

Quickly reading over your thread Peter, I would suggest that combining our public education system into French and English speaking would eliminate the duplication of administration, resources, services, and buildings. It thus would free up money that could be plowed back into the classroom, special education, greening of remaining school buildings, and the elimination of "user fees." Also, when I say plowed back into the classroom, I mean we could the money to hire more teachers, staff libraries, TAs, SWers, and others.

 

I think that the question needs to go to the basic: what should how education dollars support - programs or infrastructure? it may be simple but it eliminates the need to talk of religion or not. In fact, in a system such as this, religious instruction could be provided to those who want it and where numbers warrent. Say during lunch and after school, and not just be limited to RCs.

Always a pleasure to debate and drink with you and yours..I really would appreciate it if you and others, even OL2 Tongue out, would  address the funding  points I made in post 36? .  the one ending    ."If you want to argue against funding Catholic schools or French schools what changes would you make in the funding  formula   to "enrich"  the English non denominational Boards."

A good start ot such a disuccsion would be to consider the very strong possibility that funding to Catholci schools will not be cut this year or next or maybe never. Are you in the common school board happy with the way funding is decided now, what changes in the funding formula would you like to see made- do you want more aoney per child, more money per school, more money for programs more money for ESL , more money for infrastructure or are thigns jsut ducky now? Laughing

solidarity..

solidrity,

Peter

Lord Palmerston

"permit where appropriate, religious instruction in any faith in publicly funded schools outside regular instructional hours."

Why should we have religious instruction in public schools at all?  This seems to be an unnecessary compromise.

 

OL12 OL12's picture

Lord Palmerston wrote:
Why should we have religious instruction in public schools at all?  This seems to be an unnecessary compromise.

Hear, hear.  People who want to impart a sectarian worldview to their children should try something really novel and go to Church.  That is what I do.  I think others should try it.  They'd meet some really nice people there.

That being said, I'd still be willing to make the compromise to finally do away with the awful waste and discrimination in our school system.

OL12 OL12's picture

peterjcassidy wrote:
I really would appreciate it if you and others, even OL2 , would  address the funding  points I made in post 36?

Sorry Peter, but I found that post a little hard to follow -- and a tad long for a blog post.  I haven't got the time to analyze something like that.  I'm happy to respond to your more succinct and focused post, however.

peterjcassidy wrote:
If you want to argue against funding Catholic schools or French schools what changes would you make in the funding  formula   to "enrich"  the English non denominational Boards.

I don't think anyone here is arguing against French schools Peter, as I guess you don't recall from our earlier discussions (it's been a while).

peterjcassidy wrote:
...what changes in the funding formula would you like to see made- do you want more aoney per child, more money per school, more money for programs more money for ESL , more money for infrastructure or are thigns jsut ducky now?

Any of those would be just lovely -- and all a better use of funds than sectarian religion, I would say.  Government has no business being involved with that (especially in using everyone's money for only one favoured sect of one religion).  As for priorities, those would be as varied as people, but you'd find a lot more people who put the priorities you mention at the top of their lists than you would people who would put Catholic school funding at the top.  I'd bet you'd also find a lot of people who'd be pretty upset at seeing those priorities suffer further cuts while Catholic school funding survives.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

 

The Funding Formula

School boards are funded through Ontario's "funding formula." The ministry allocates funding to each board using a formula that's based on student enrolment and the unique needs of the students in each board. The number of schools, their distribution and their physical condition are also factors.

Boards use this money to make the local decisions needed to educate their students. They do this by funding and staffing schools, designing programs to meet the needs of their students and fixing, maintaining and building schools.meet the needs of their students and fixing, maintaining and building schools.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/funding/formula.html

__________________________

Many of us think the funding formula is deeply flawed and needs to be fixed. If you agree , what changes do you siwh to make.

And a heads up comments like this, by the author of the One School System petiton, lack credibility:

It is time to finally have a full debate in the Legislature and in the Public about this. I am sure upto 1 Billion Dollars could be saved by creating 1 english language and 1 french language school system.

janfromthebruce

I actually don't have time. But  am quite familiar with the funding formula. One can't talk about the funding formula without also talking about declining student enrolment. One could build into the funding formula carrots and sticks to ensure that competing school boards work together. So you get more money for building and/or sharing a school building, sharing resources. Each child is treated the same, so bussing distances are the same for example.

thinking about bussing consortiums - both should not be penalized if it is one party who is causing the inefficiency (providing unnecessary bussing) which it is the way right now. So the "guilty partner" pays the penality and enough to make it inefficient to incur penalities. Thus working together for all students is "rewarded".

Accomodation reviews  and declining student enrolment. If there is declining enrolment in a geographical area than it is looked at by both school boards through "a joint accomodation review process".

All students in Ontario can attend any school in their area no matter their religious affliation. All elgible potential employees may work for any school board.

Just starting from a place of equity for all, and fairness in hiring practices without discrimination may move education a long way in this province.

And remember it was the Harris govt who created 4 competing systems of education in Ontario and it wasn't about being fair but all about creating "competition." But that competition is in itself inefficient with declining student enrolment.

Thus I want to see a system of education in the province of Ontario that philosophically underpins our democratic values of equity and fairness and education for all. So what or how should a system look with those basic underpinnings? What should be the focus? And it is from there that one develops and revises a funding formula that moves education in that direction.

And thinking about financing - why not advocate that 3% of your local school taxes is kept locally so that communities feel impowered to have a say in how they would like their local educational priorities enacted in their communities.

 

Just some quick thoughts off the top. And I agree with the poster above, your post was too long.