According to the CTV Mr. Tory has an idea about how to spend some of my money.
What the fuck? Ontario Provincial Con leader John Tory figures he can make some political hay by promising to shell out some of those good, good tax dollars to "faith based schools". Well Mr. Tory, how about we return to the 21st century. How about we de-fund the Catholic school system and give public money to public schools. Parents are welcome to place their children in religious schools or private schools and more power to them. But we shouldn't be sharing the bill. You want a specialized and separate education, fine, pay for it yourself.
Tory is trying to pull a fast one and hell, full points for greasing the pig there J.T.,
"I want to reach out to parents and children currently outside of the system of public education and invite them in," Tory said. "I want children of all faiths to be part of ... a system that reflects our shared Canadian values."
Yeah, right. These parents are placing their kids in different schools precisely because they do not want to be part a system that reflects our shared Canadian values. We live in a rich, multi-cultural province. The public school system exists to provide a standardized, high quality and free education to the public, supported by tax revenues. I went through school with mostly white, western derived kids. They were from a variety of christian sects, some were religious, some weren't. One of my best friends was Jewish. Me, I left the Catholic school system after the 1st grade convinced that God was a fairy tale and that child abuse wasn't an effective educative tool.
As I got older and more immigrant families arrived, we were joined in school by kids of Kurdish, Pakistani, Indian, Egyptian and numerous other backgrounds. We each believed or didn't believe as we saw fit. We also, largely, got along okay. There were some issues of bigotry that were resolved quite effectively with a reading of the riot act. We got to know each other and learned to get along and we even actually learned a bit about each other's cultures and faiths. I would never have experienced a Bar Mitzvah if my buddy Seth had gone to the Beth Jacob School. I wouldn't have learned a lot if we'd all been taught in separate enclaves. The most important thing we wouldn't have learned is how to coexist peacefully and accept each others differences and appreciate our many similarities.
And Tory is a slick act, he needs to put lipstick on this pig, so...
"But Tory (sic) it shouldn't be done without extensive consultation and thought -- so he pledged to bring in the man who initially gave funds to Ontario's Catholic schools in the 80s.
The Opposition leader said he'd appoint former premier Bill Davis to look at the plan's feasibility. With the green light from Davis, Tory said pilot projects could begin around fall of next year."
Because really, who's going to be in a better place to understand the nuances of buying non-secular votes than the guy who pioneered that shit in the '80s?
"There are some 53,000 students attending religious schools outside the public system and they deserve the same support children who attend Catholic schools currently get, Tory said.
All religions should be treated fairly and schools should reflect Ontario's diversity in the 21st century, he added."
Well, he has a point there. All of those kids deserve the same level of publicly funded support as kids in the Catholic system. And that level of deserved support would be none. Why are we giving public money to one of the world's wealthiest organizations? Let's face it, if little Pope Ratzo wants to help the kids he could sell a few hundred thousand hectares, open the Vatican vaults and liquidate some of the plunder, treasure and spoils to get it done. I'm in favour of treating all the religions fairly and equally. If all of those diverse communities and faiths want to engage in the beautiful diversity of Ontario in the 21st century, let's give them the very finest public education system in the world. I'd happily pay for that.
Mr. Tory, quit shopping for votes with my tax dollars. Fix the education system we have before you go adding layers of bureaucracy, red tape, expense and bullshit to the price tag. This is a cheap (well, very expensive actually) and transparent attempt to buy some votes.