Faith-based financing

10 responses

  1. AT says:

    $2.5B provincial and $9B federal… can we say OVER TAXATION!

  2. Mike says:

    Tory’s strong principled leadership is also demonstrated in his stand on faith-based funding.

    It is unfair that the province funds education for one faith-based group to the exclusion of others. Other faith-based institutions want to join the public system; but Ontario’s current public school system doesn’t accommodate them.

    Indeed, in 1999 the United Nations Human Rights Committee made a binding decision that Ontario is violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by funding Catholic schools while refusing to fund schools for other faiths.

    The vast majority (93%) of Ontario’s faith-based schools have been fully funded for decades, without harmful social effect, and extending equal treatment to the other 7% will not have any negative impact, but will get rid of a glaring unfairness and will help to better integrate these schools and their students into Ontario society.

    The reality of Canadian history is that accommodating faith-based ducation is the norm, rather than the exception. B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, like Ontario, have provided significant funding to faith-based schools for decades, and have dynamic, unified societies. We need to build on the lessons of Ontario history, and expand the public system to include other faith-based groups, just as was done with Roman Catholics.

    With public funding comes public accountability , including requirements to teach the Ontario curriculum, standardized testing and teacher credentialing. These schools already exist, but are not held publicly accountable. Tory’s plan for inclusive public education will change this to the benefit of all Ontarians.

  3. Chris says:

    Consistent with your practice of disclosing your self-interest (financial) when commenting on deal/investment matters (applause), you should also identify your political affiliations/history.

  4. Mark McQueen says:


    I’m not trying to keep my Conservative voting record a secret. There’s a reference on our website under “Team” to my 5 year stint working for the former Tory gov’t of Brian Mulroney, with a couple of years in the PMO.


  5. Michael Denny says:

    This is the most insightful and clear piece of commentary I have come across as we approach this election.

    Like you I have watched and admired John Tory. Your comment about focusing on the forest and not a particular tree is powerful.

    However, what a tree. What Mr Tory has failed to do, in addition to convincingly articulating the public policy need, is to communicate why now this must be done when we face so many other problems in this province. I am left with no other conclusion that despite all his claims that leadership matters, he, and other party worthies, yet hold the view that elections must be won with voter bribing. In this case the tragedy is his bribe is such offensively bad public policy.

    Shame John Tory wasn’t the first to realize that February is really cold and depressing.

    I will approach the voting booth this October with a heavy heart.

  6. Mark McQueen says:

    appreciate the very kind comments

    the topic is a gordian knot


  7. Debbie says:

    Re MRM:”if the idea is to provide services ‘where numbers warrant’, then do 53,000 students in a province of more than 11 million people warrant special services”. What Tory means is where the numbers warrant in that locale. Obviously, we do not have Catholic schools in towns where out of 1000 kids only 5 are Catholic! There has to be a minumum number to warrant a school, especially since all schools are funded on a per student basis (probably need about 300 kids to have a well run school).
    Re Michael Denny’s comment: “why now this must be done when we face so many other problems in this province.” Michael, we are talking about 53,000 kids, not 5, who are shut out of public education. The UN Human Rights committee has ruled twice that Canada is in violation of international law on this issue and is preparing to cover it again next year. I was told by a constitutional lawyer that this is mud on Canada’s face, since we never ignore human rights abuses and it makes us look like idiots when we want to pressure other countries to respect human rights! The federal government should be speaking out about this human rights abuse in Ontario.
    Also,MRM, mentions about new-comers rights vis a vis faith-based public education. Please explain to me why I have to pay full tuition for my four kids in faith-based non-public school while someone can move here last week and before their first pay-check put their kid in public Catholic school with free everything including busing!

  8. Saul Arias says:

    If it is fair to provide public funds to a Hindu school, then it is also fair to provide public funds to schools that teach the beliefs of Satanism, Vudu, Scientology, Raelism, Aryan Nation and the ‘Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’. And yes, these are all real religions.

    Let’s call a spade a spade: John Tory’s initiative is not about fairness, but rather about getting the votes of the minorities that have moved to the 905 in the past years. If Tory really wants to fix the injustice, he should move to cancel public funding of all religious schools, including Catholic ones. And yes, I am Catholic.

  9. Mark McQueen says:


    If we could start over, I’d be all in favour of two systems. One public, and then a vast private system.

    I agree that it is unfair that R.C. schools get funding and others don’t, provided there are sufficient numbers to warrant. Are 20 children in 6 different grades being taught in a home attending “a school”, for example? These are things for Mr. Davis et al to work out.

    I also agree that the implementation of such a system will be tough if we don’t “agree” with the core beliefs of the religious education being taught; the KKK issue. As there are laws preventing the spread of hatred, I think there are ways to ensure that the Aryan Nation isn’t funded with gov’t dollars. Nice distraction tactic, Saul.

    I think it is clear that an Ontario Premier can’t just promise to wipe out the section in the BNA Act of 1867 regarding the funding of separate school boards. If you want to collapse the current system of funding only certain faith-based schools, call for a referendum on the subject. Dalton McGunity talks about electoral reform. Here’s a chance to see it in action.

    As for the notion that we can’t change the current R.C. funding system as it has been around since 1867, and is codefied constitutionally. Please recall that women didn’t have the vote in 1867. People burned coal in their fireplaces, if they could afford it that is. Time passes. Things change. Societies modernize.


  10. John says:

    I posted on this issue today.

    My basic argument is that state-sponsored segregation of children does not foster a stable society.

    Everyone pays taxes, parents or otherwise, and everyone has a stake in the education of children.

    Secular state = secular education system. Fund no religious schools. Allow private religious schools.

    Comply with the UN request. End the “discriminatory” system. By funding no faith-based schools.

    Promote the values Canada claims to embody.

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