HAMILTON, Ontario, October 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — After a parent complained to a talk-radio show that his daughter earned volunteer hours for attending Life Chain, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is signaling the Liberals may nix that.
“That is the first I’ve heard that,” Wynne said Friday when quizzed on the situation, reported the Toronto Star.
“I will just say that that was never the intention of the 40 hours of volunteer work, and I will certainly follow up with the ministry.”
Education Minister Mitzie Hunter also issued similar hints to media.
“Each school board is responsible for developing a list of community involvement activities that the board considers acceptable,” she said in a statement to the Star.
“We expect boards to develop a list of approved activities,” Hunter wrote.
But “in this case, providing these credits for such use does not seem to be what these community involvement activities were designed for, and we’re currently looking into the matter,” she said.
Ontario students must complete 40 hours of approved community service to graduate.
In the Newstalk 1010 exclusive, the parent, who used only his first name, also alleged the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board offered high schools students an inflated 3-to-1 credit rate to attend pro-life events.
But HWCDSB chair Patrick Daly flatly denied the charge.
“We would not, nor would any of our principals, permit, under any circumstances, more than one-for-one hour of Christian service,” he told Newstalk 1010.
“If, in this situation, a teacher unintentionally conveyed otherwise, then that’s unfortunate, we regret it.”
Daly said the board looked into the claims and ruled there was nothing amiss.
“A conversation between the principal and the teacher fully discussed everything involved, got all the facts, and then proceeded to report to the administration,” he told Newstalk 1010.
Life Chain “is a community gathering of individuals committed to promoting a culture of life,” Daly added.
“So, students, amongst others in the community; many adults and young people would be involved standing on the sidewalks and streets praying, in some cases, holding signs in support of life,” he said.
LifeSiteNews contacted Daly, but he was heading into a meeting and not available to comment before deadline.
Retired Catholic school principal Dan DiRocco said the Liberals will have to issue new regulations with a list of specified prohibited groups and activities if they want to exclude pro-life work as volunteer community service hours.
But giving a public pro-life witness, as with Life Chain, is “the best that students can do to look after the interests of their fellow Canadians,” DiRocco said.
“In the best tradition of Catholic schools, these students are championing the rights of the voiceless, the downtrodden” and affirming the sanctity of human life, he told LifeSiteNews.
“They ought to be commended and the schools ought to actively encourage more of our young people to care about the unborn child.”