The aptly named Progressive Conservative leader John Tory, in his push to fund religious schools in Ontario, says it would be just fine with him if Christian schools teach creationism as a legitimate alternative to evolution.
For those outside Ontario: here, public funds are used for the public schools and for the "separate schools" -- those that are run by Catholic religious groups. These Catholic schools are a parallel system, with their own elections for school boards, and are an unfortunate result of the compromise that led to Confederation 140 years ago. As a result of the London Conference of 1866, separate schools were guaranteed in in Québec and Ontario, but not some other provinces. Section 93 (3) of the Constitution Act (formerly called the British North America Act) reads
(3.) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education:
Not surprisingly, other religious groups, including Protestant and Jewish groups, have objected to the special treatment received by Catholics in Ontario. But instead of attempting to end public funding for all religious schools, the Progressive Conservatives have made funding of all accredited religious schools part of their party platform in the upcoming provincial elections. Polls show, however, that the majority of the public is opposed to this change. Rick Johnson, head of the Ontario School Boards Association, resigned his position to run for one of the opposition parties, the Liberals.
According to an interview with Tory I heard on the CBC this afternoon, “They teach evolution in the Ontario curriculum, but they also could teach the facts to the children that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs."
If I could vote in Ontario (I can't, since I'm only a permanent resident, not a citizen), I certainly wouldn't give my vote to someone who doesn't know the difference between a fact and a theory, and who thinks that creationism is a scientific theory that is suitable for teaching in Ontario's science classes.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Stupid Tory Tricks: Religious Schools In Ontario Could Teach Creationism, Get Public Funds
Posted by Jeffrey Shallit at 4:20 PM
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Definitely voting Liberal myself this election. I wasn't going to since I haven't been impressed by them, but I don't want to let a creationist jerkoff run the province.
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