DEFENCE OF THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
The assault on the public funding of Catholic education has increased greatly over the last few years and will likely only increase with the election of the new Provincial government.
Strong leadership at each Catholic School Board is needed to push back against any change or attempted elimination of that public funding for our school board.
Public funding for the Catholic education was guaranteed in section 93(1) of the Constitution Act of 1867 and has been constitutionally protected from that time. It was reaffirmed in the Constitution Act of 1982.
In 1997, two Provinces, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to Constitutional amendments that eliminated public funding of a Catholic School Board in those two Provinces.
Full funding of Catholic education did not occur until 1984 when public funding was extended to cover grades 11, 12 and 13. Prior to that Catholic students paid tuition to attend those grades as well as covering the cost of their books, uniforms and activity fees.
On November 5, 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released a report on education funding in the Province of Ontario. The report concluded that the Province was in violation of several U.N. declarations and guidelines. The media widely reported that the basis of the U.N. conclusion was that the Province should not fund Catholic education from public funds.
The real conclusion was that the Province should not fund Catholic education from public funds to the exclusions of other religions. The recommendation was that the Province begin to fund other religion based schools as they do in the United States and many other countries in the world. The U.N. recognized that Catholic education had a unique constitutional guarantee that other religious school systems did not have.
To date the Province has not moved forward on funding other religious school systems.
VOTE MICHAEL DAVID LANNAN for WCDSB Trustee.