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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Does Dalton McGuinty really believe this stuff?

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had this to say recently about the Toronto District School Board's plans to open a "black-focused school":

“We believe it’s a matter of principle: that the single most important thing we can do for our kids is bring them together so they have an opportunity to come to know one another, to understand one another and to learn together and grow together,” McGuinty said Wednesday before a cabinet meeting.

“We think that’s the foundation for a caring, cohesive society.” Instead of separating
students from different races, McGuinty said he would be open to the idea of making more changes to the provincial curriculum so all Ontario children learn more about black history.

“There have been some changes made to the curriculum in the past and if we need to strengthen that further to ensure that it is truly inclusive, then let’s have that dialogue,” he said.

“And let’s do it in a way that ensures kids continue to come together and share the same classrooms.”


I don't know how the Premier can say this with a straight face. He is the product of a separate publicly-funded Catholic high school education; he sends his own children to separate publicly-funded Catholic schools, and his wife teaches in a separate publicly-funded Catholic school. I have news for Mr. McGuinty - in his idyllic Ontario, Catholic kids are not going to "come together and share the same classrooms" with their Protestant, Muslim, Jewish or atheist neighbours - in fact, it is government policy to fund a school system that prevents exactly that.

His government and his party evade the issue when this is pointed out to them by mumbling "well, it's in the Constitution, there's nothing we can do about it". Nonsense. If he really feels that "it’s a matter of principle that the single most important thing we can do for our kids is bring them together so they have an opportunity to come to know one another" then I expect him to announce a timeline for amending the Constitution and cutting off funding for Catholic schools in Ontario. Newfoundland & Quebec dismantled their parochial school systems - why can't Ontario?

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