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Different School Systems

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Different School Systems and

Government Funding

In 1867 Catholic's represented 17% of the population of Ontario, while Protestants represented 82% and other religions combined to 2% of the population. At the time of the confederation there was an issue that the province would be controlled by a protestant majority and might use its power over education to take away the rights of the minority Roman Catholic population. The solution to this problem was solved by the guarantee of the rights to a denominational education by entrenching it in the Constitution. Since 1867 the population of Canada has changed along with the different religious beliefs. This exemption of Catholic school being considered public seems discriminatory towards those of different religious beliefs. With Canada's diverse multicultural population, is it reasonable in Ontario to consider Catholic Schools public and receive government funding , while other religion based schools are considered private, and receive no funding? The obvious conclusion would be that funding should be limited to public schools that are independent from religious indoctrination because funding of Catholic schools goes against our protected Charter of Rights, current non-religious based public schools are better in meeting the demands of the population, and finally other provinces have began to stop funding of all religion based schools.

The first reason against the the funding of Catholic schools is that it goes against our protected Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In charter section 15 it states that "Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and in particular without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion....". This means if Catholic schools are funded by the government, why shouldn't other religious based school be funded as well? The justification of section 15 (2) cannot be applied since Roman Catholics were never disadvantaged in the first place. Also the idea of this funding towards Catholic schools was created in to allow denominational education towards this particular group in response to the fear of the Catholic community losing its education rights. This does not solve the problem because this action does seem fair to the educational rights of other religious minorities. Also the funding of Catholic schools goes against charter section 2 which gives the "freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief and opinion...." Since a normal public school is independent from religious indoctrination why would we then have another public school going completely against that idea of independence of education? We then have cases in which coercion occurs. This funding also interferes with the idea of everyone being equal before the law since the charter section 29 basically prevents any other section of the charter to



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