Debate Over Faith-Based Schools Intensifies

July 24, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: South Asian Focus

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory's plan to invite faith-based schools into Ontario's public education system has run into hot water.

Tory announced early this week plans to get one of Ontario's leading pioneers of tolerance and diversity in public education to help find the best way to bring even more of Ontario students into our public education system, should he become Ontario's next premier.

Under a PC government, former premier Bill Davis of Brampton would be appointed to lead a commission to review options and make recommendations about how Ontario's public school system could become more inclusive of faith-based schools.

"Ontario has funded faith-based education to varying degrees since Confederation," said Tory. "This inclusive approach has proven to be successful in managing and respecting religious diversity within public education. It has taught children of different of ethnicities and faiths to value our respective religious and cultural heritages, while also being unified by common standards and equivalent experiences."

Detractors have however claimed $400 million would have to come out of tax-payers' pockets to fund more faith-based schools. Only Catholic schools currently enjoy public funding.