TORONTO, Jan 18 (LifeSiteNews) – In response to a UN ruling saying that Ontario’s school system is discriminatory since it funds Catholic schools and no other religious schooling, the Canadian government has urged Ontario to fund schools of all religions. However Ontario Education Minister Janet Ecker obstinately refused to consider the proposal and said her stance against religious school funding will not change.  “We’ve been very clear that our goal is a good quality public education system, and the estimates of $300 million needed to fund religious schools would be $300 million that would come out of the public school system,” Ecker said in an interview with the Toronto Star yesterday.

Adding to the controversy, Earl Manners, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’  Federation (OSSTF), responded to the federal government’s suggestion with a veiled suggestion to scrap the Catholic school system in Ontario. “The solution to the United Nations’ ruling regarding the Ontario education funding formula is not a further fragmentation of the public   system,” said Manners. “It is important to note,” he continued, “that the UN decision stated clearly that there is no obligation for the Ontario government to fund schools which are established on a religious basis,” implying that the Catholic system too can be stripped of funding.  Manners’ solution to the problem of religious education was to have “Ontario’s   schools promoting an understanding of and celebration of Ontario’s diverse cultures through support for heritage religious courses in public schools in the same manner that heritage language courses are currently provided.”

Critics of the public education strategy note that certain policies enshrined in public school would be at odds with the belief systems of the world’s major religions.  Public school education’s promotion of the equality of homosexual cohabitation with normal family life, graphic sex education, the positive presentation of contraception and abortion, and the   lack of discipline are seen incompatible with religious belief and even a danger to the religious upbringing of children.

See the report in the Toronto Star.

See the OSSTF press release.