Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The UN sides with John Tory on Education!?!?!?

Wow... thanks to Allan Cutler (of Liberal Sponsorship fame) for pointing this fact out in an article of his posted on Splato's blog... according to Allan, it looks like Dalton McGuinty's view on funding for faith based schools is in violation with a UN Human Rights ruling from 1999, that has yet to be acted upon.

So, based on that info, I did some digging... and indeed, he is correct... and here's the proof, straight to you from the United Nations.

It appears that Mr. Tory's position on funding for faith based education is supported by the United Nations Human Rights Committee... which means that Mr. McGuinty's is not, and is therefore, according to the UN's ruling, descriminatory.
5 November 1999
Original: ENGLISH

Communication Nº 694/1996 : Canada. 05/11/99.
CCPR/C/67/D/694/1996. (Jurisprudence)

10.2 The issue before the Committee is whether public funding for Roman Catholic schools, but not for schools of the author's religion, which results in him having to meet the full cost of education in a religious school, constitutes a violation of the author's rights under the Covenant.

10.5 With regard to the State party's argument that it is reasonable to differentiate in the allocation of public funds between private and public schools, the Committee notes that it is not possible for members of religious denominations other than Roman Catholic to have their religious schools incorporated within the public school system. In the instant case, the author has sent his children to a private religious school, not because he wishes a private non-Government dependent education for his children, but because the publicly funded school system makes no provision for his religious denomination, whereas publicly funded religious schools are available to members of the Roman Catholic faith. On the basis of the facts before it, the Committee considers that the differences in treatment between Roman Catholic religious schools, which are publicly funded as a distinct part of the public education system, and schools of the author's religion, which are private by necessity, cannot be considered reasonable and objective.

10.6 The Committee has noted the State party's argument that the aims of the State party's secular public education system are compatible with the principle of nondiscrimination laid down in the Covenant. The Committee does not take issue with this argument but notes, however, that the proclaimed aims of the system do not justify the exclusive funding of Roman Catholic religious schools. It has also noted the author's submission that the public school system in Ontario would have greater resources if the Government would cease funding any religious schools. In this context, the Committee observes that the Covenant does not oblige States parties to fund schools which are established on a religious basis. However, if a State party chooses to provide public funding to religious schools, it should make this funding available without discrimination. This means that providing funding for the schools of one religious group and not for another must be based on reasonable and objective criteria. In the instant case, the Committee concludes that the material before it does not show that the differential treatment between the Roman Catholic faith and the author's religious denomination is based on such criteria. Consequently, there has been a violation of the author's rights under article 26 of the Covenant to equal and effective protection against discrimination.

11. The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the facts before it disclose a violation of article 26 of the Covenant.

12. Under article 2, paragraph 3(a), of the Covenant, the State party is under the obligation to provide an effective remedy, that will eliminate this discrimination.
My how quickly the tables turn...

Here's Allan's original article in full... that's Allan, you've shined a lot of light on this one for all of us.
Dalton Is More Than Wrong On Faith-Based Funding
Allan Cutler
Sept. 7th, 2007

The role of religion in education has been widely debated in recent years. The public school system has been attacked for long standing traditions such as Christmas pageants. Many people believe that education and religion don’t mix.

I believe that there should be one public school system open to all. However, that is not the Ontario reality and it will not happen. Ontario has two publicly funded school systems, one open to all and the other faith based. The public system bears the brunt of costs associated with being open to all; costs such as blending new cultures and providing English language training in addition to the regular curriculum.

The only realistic and fair solution is to have faith based schools, regardless of their religion, included in the public system. In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Ontario was in violation of the international covenant on civil and political rights by not funding faith based schools. Nothing has been done to correct this situation until now.

John Tory and the Conservatives propose to extend funding to all faith based schools. This would not be a handout. In order to qualify for funding, faith based schools would have to teach the provincial curriculum, take part in standardized testing and hire qualified teachers.

Dalton McGuinty, although he personally supports a faith based system, is against extending this privilege to others. I am reminded of the exclusive country clubs of years gone by where certain groups “need not apply”. This now viewed as discriminatory and regressive. McGuinty seems to believe in keeping this elitism.

To fully understand this viewpoint, read McGuinty’s following statements on faith based schools with these additional words added in italics: “unless you are Catholic”

“I don’t think that Ontarians believe that improvement or progress is defined as inviting children of different faiths to leave the publicly funded system as we know it and go to their own schools,” unless you are Catholic

“I think that’s regressive. I think that takes us backwards. I think our responsibility is to continue to improve the publicly funded system of education.” unless you are Catholic

“An important part of our foundation for social cohesion is a publicly funded education system where we invite children of all backgrounds and faiths, economic circumstances, to come together to learn from each other and to grow together,” unless you are Catholic

Our society has evolved far beyond this elitism. I can not and do not believe that Catholics are opposed to other religions having the same rights as they do. We are a rights based society and equal rights for all is a fundamental principle.

The solution is obvious, although it is not my preferred one. Tory and the Conservatives propose giving other faith based schools the same rights and privileges as Catholic schools. This is fair. There can be no rationale for refusing funding to other faith based schools. Jewish, Muslim and all Christian schools should be equal in this province.

McGuinty said, “It’s about the kind of Ontario you want.”

The Ontario that I want is not one where there is a privileged group. The Ontario that I want is one where its citizens are treated equally and fairly by its government. The Ontario that I want will offer funding to all its faith based schools, not just one.

Allan Cutler is the bureaucrat who blew the whistle on the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal and former Conservative candidate. He has created his own consulting and ethics business and is planning on having his first book published this fall, entitled “The Whistleblower Speaks – The Sponsorship Scandal”. You can visit his website at or reach him by email at

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