Thursday, May 31, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
Part Three of The Current
Gay-Straight Alliance & Catholic School Funding - Student
We started this segment with a clip from Cardinal Thomas Collins, one of the most powerful Catholic leaders in Canada speaking earlier this week with the CBC. If his words seem a little measured, it's because this debate is all about words. One in particular: gay.
Ontario made an amendment to it's anti-bullying legislation, that says schools may not prevent student groups from calling themselves "Gay-Straight Alliances". The Catholic Board of Trustees and the Archdiocese of Ontario say the amendment is an infringement on religious freedom. But some say if the schools don't wish to abide by provincial law -- then perhaps its time to stop public funding of separate schools.
Megan Smith is a student in grade eleven at St Joseph's Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga. She's part of a support group at her school called Open Arms Respecting Differences. She hopes the Catholic Board will follow the new legislation so she can refer to her group as a Gay-Straight Alliance.
Gay-Straight Alliance & Catholic School Funding - Minister of Education
Ontario's education minister says the government has no interest in opening up a debate on public funding of Catholic schools. But the debate was nevertheless opened by the anti-bullying amendment. Laurel Broten is the Minister of Education and we reached her in Toronto.
Gay-Straight Alliance & Catholic School Funding - Humanism Charity
Our next guest says the resistance of Ontario Catholic School officials to Gay-Straight Alliance groups raises questions about whether Catholic schools should be publicly funded at all. Right now Ontario spends about $7 Billion on its Roman Catholic school system.
Justin Trottier is National Communications Director for the Centre for Inquiry Canada ... that's a charity that receives private donations to promote secular humanism. He was in Toronto.
Gay-Straight Alliance & Catholic School Funding - Trustee Assoc.
Nancy Kirby is the past president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association. The association has been at the forefront of the fight against the amended language in Bill 13, which would prevent board from banning the name, gay-straight alliance for school clubs. We reached Nancy Kirby in Toronto.
This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien, Kristin Nelson and Julia Pagel.
Other segments from today's show: