Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is supporting a new government bill that would require all schools in the territory to allow the formation of Gay-Straight Alliances.
Referencing the old schoolyard chant about “sticks and stones,” McGuinty (left) said “Actually names really do hurt—in fact, they can be very dangerous. They can ultimately lead to, as we seen the worst cases, some young people taking their own lives. So we’re saying we’re going to profit from recent experience… and send a strong signal to all our kids we’re going to respect you for who you are.”
The bill wouldn’t automatically rename any school groups, it would simply give students the option to identify their club as a GSA if they wanted to.
Religious organizations, predictably, are fighting the measure: “In our view, the word itself is a distraction,” said Marino Gazzola of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association. And Archbishop Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto says Catholic schools already have methods to handle bullying that don’t contradict Christian values.
Judging from how the Catholic Church handles all its other problems, we assume those “methods” involve shipping the bully to another school district.
You might have mentioned a few more details in your story (and thanks for reporting this, btw!) – namely that the provincial Premier is himself a Catholic, and is taking a lot of heat for supporting Gay-straight alliances in the (so-called) separate school system in Ontario. This system makes it possible for the Catholic Church to run their own school board, parallel to the state-run board, and have their own Church-sanctioned curriculum, all funded by the taxpayer to the tune of 7 billion dollars a year! So the man deserves kudos for taking the heat from the RC Church, even though public opinion seems to be lining up behind him.
Ontario is a Province, not a Territory.
If they want to be treated as seperate schools, then maybe taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for their existence.
@DouggSeven: That is the very argument many in Ontario are making. This kerfuffle over the nameing of GSA alliances may be the final straw. Unfortunately, when Canada was created in 1867, its Constitution guaranteed the public funding of Catholic schools. Quebec, which is (or was) predominantly Catholic is required to publicly fund their Protestant schools. The other 8 provinces have no such constitutional restrictions. So the remove the Catholic schools from the public purse will require a Constituional amendment, which isn’t an easy thing to do.
@MikeMB But at the time of the guarantee Separate Schools only had grades 1 through 6 (or maybe through 8). During the 1980’s/90’s there was a LOT of fighting when the Roman catholics gradually slipperly sloped themselves up to now have all Ontario funding 12 full years (and JK and SK) of Roman Catholic ‘education’.
I dunno if the constitution would not have to be opened – they’d just have to turn back the clock to the ways things were during the 1860s for Roman Catholics resident in Ontario. Let them have their 6 years free; then their kids can go to public school when they reach age 12 (grade 7) and learn about the real world.
Whatever the case, I’m glad you mentioned all that; it started me thinking. Much appreciated.
@fonzymorris Thanks for bringing that up. Good points! Indeed, for all of his faults, McGuinty’s got guts, and he’s a compassionate person as well. Hudak would have caved – actually, he wouldn’t have even taken this on. As far as Canadian Liberals (be they federal, provincial, or other) go, McGuinty is one of the very best. We’re lucky to have him on our side.
Er, next time I’ll proof read better. Apologies MikeMB
I meant to write:
1 – “when the Roman Catholics gradually ‘slippery sloped’ themseves up to NOW HAVING ALL ONTARIO TAXPAYERS FUND…”
2 – “I dunno if the constitution would (NO ‘NOT’) have to be…”
Actually, I went to RC shools growing up and I remember something about them not being fully funded (till the late 80s?). I don’t know the figures but I recall teachers always saying they couldn’t afford this-or-that due to budget constraints or something – and always saying they can’t afford the luxuries that public schools could as an excuse. From a religious perspective, it was always kind of a joke. None of the students really cared much about saying prayers, or going to the occasional masses – neither did the teachers, quite frankly. There was always a student or two who wouldn’t participate in some religious activities because they weren’t catholic, yet there they were, year after year still attending the school. In Niagara Falls (where I went to school), my high school (St Paul) had a major drug bust (this included dogs sniffing our lockers and camera surveillance) and about 20 kids were expelled who were dealers or users. This was very contraversial for it’s time because the size of this raid was the largest and most thorough in our city’s history. In grade 11 my parents allowed me to transfer to a public school because of the drug problem in my catholic high school and the voilence – neither of which were major issues in public school. It was a glaring difference in both attitude and education switching from catholic to public.
Comments are closed.