Should Ontario fund faith-based schools?
September 13, 2007 | 12:31 PM
The question of funding faith-based schools is taking centre stage this election.
Currently, Ontario provides full funding to the public and Catholic school systems, which serve about 95 per cent of students in the province. This dual education system, is a by-product of the British North America Act of 1867, when Canada was created.
Other religious schools teach about two per cent of the students in the province and receive no public funding. Conservative Leader John Tory wants to change that, arguing it is a matter of fairness. He has promised the schools full funding, at an estimated cost of $400 million a year, provided they follow the provincial curriculum. But this offer has been slammed by the Liberals and the Greens, who argue it will lead to greater segregation of the school system over time.
Across Canada, the provinces are almost as divided as the leaders in the ways they handle faith-based schools. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec all fund these schools, to different degrees, while New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador don't.
Listen to the CBC's Mike Wise on the reaction to the faith-based school funding proposals (Runs 1:23)
Should all religious schools receive the same degree of public funding? What effect would this have on the public system? Tell us your views.