Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gerard Kennedy for Liberal leader? I don't think so.

In the midst of doing some research for an upcoming article, I ran across this piece, with the eye-catching excerpt (emphasis added):

As the spokespeople for the Multifaith Coalition for Equal Funding of Religious Schools put it, all they want is parity with the province’s Catholic schools, which are fully funded with tax dollars, in exchange for making their schools fully accountable to the public.

Last week’s rally at the legislature, consisting of a press conference inside and a small but noisy protest outside, took place on the first anniversary of a detailed funding proposal submitted by the multifaith group to Education Minister Gerard Kennedy.

The coalition says Kennedy never responded

Depending on what that silence represented, it might very well be everything I need to know to decide whether Kennedy should be the new Liberal leader.

Personally, if I could ask any of these candidates one question, it would be, "What is your opinion on the fairness of the Ontario school system, in which the Catholics are funded to the exclusion of every other faith?"

Anyone who answered in any other terms but immediate condemnation of that system would be crossed off my list. And if Kennedy can't stand up and say he's absolutely opposed to the unfairness of that system, he should be denounced by every single progressive in the country.

I don't imagine progressives have the power to change the current, ridiculously unfair funding system in Ontario. But perhaps those same progressives can at least prevent anyone who's not bothered by it from being elected the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.


Anonymous said...

*sigh*, You know CC, you're the only, and I mean *only* person I've ever talked to who agrees with me on this issue. That's probably why no politician is ready to stand against it.

Anonymous said...

I agree as well. My Catholic school in Toronto was pretty much a religious school in name only. Though, we had the benefit of teachers who taught religion as an openminded spiritual journey rather than unquestionable facts and dogma. Our world religion course was mandatory as one of the four religion credits, one that I think every student, no matter the school board, would benefit from.

Anonymous said...

Agreed anonymous - A world religions course (that can't be opted out from!) would be a handy thing in all schools - if only to see the religious nutcases' heads explode when their kids come home and ask about Buddha, and to hopefully undo some of the brainwashing that's been inflicted on the fundie-children. Lucky you on going to a less-than-crazy Catholic school though - mine was the height of insanity. Constant praying, no science classes, etc. Thank fuck I got to go to a Public highschool...