Queen’s Park Ont.

Bob Rae has his sights set on destroying the Catholicity that remains in the Separate School system and most Ontario Catholics are sound asleep and totally unaware of the bomb ticking in their midst.

A deal made ten years ago by a then-Liberal/NDP coalition government to ensure passage of a bill to give more equitable funding to Separate Schools had an olive with an extra big stone in it.  It required Separate Schools ten years hence to hire teachers who aren’t Catholic to teach in Catholic schools.  (Remember, the Separate Schools gladly took the money in order to get extension of financial support for Catholic schools to Grade 13.  They have only themselves to blame,)

The Love of Learning – the recent report of the Royal Commission on Learning – is a farce and total disaster for thinking people of any religious persuasion.  It is a long, drawn-out, double-thinking tract.  It has fooled a lot of prominent Catholic clergy, teachers, trustees, educators, the media and parents because it offers Catholics more money while quietly stripping away the essential difference between Catholic and public schools which is: Separate schools can talk about God and Jesus Christ and public schools can’t!

Bob Rae’s proposals in this Report – and they are his – are anti-Catholic in their goals.  Only Rae uses a Catholic priest (Msgr. Dennis Murphy) – one of the five commissioners – to play the Pied Piper leading Catholic Schools to oblivion.

Rae threw out another classic Marxist bombshell by suggesting education start at age three.  After someone let it out that it would likely cost $1 billion a year, David Cooke, Ontario Minister of Education, hurriedly withdrew it.  Four-and five-year-olds will stay in school all day.

Cooke hopes to pay for these full-time kindergartens with savings from axing Grade 13.  Don’t believe him.

We Ontarians are so befuddled that we don’t know what’s being done to us!  Rae, the old Marxist, wants to take the children out of the home as soon as possible and have the State brainwash the little darlings.  Private pre-schools and day-care for pre-schoolers already exist.  Parents have much more control and input as to what goes into impressionable minds here than Rae has in mind with his costly bureaucratic approach.

While the Royal Commission recommends that no non-Catholic teachers be forced on Catholic schools, Cooke lets the commissioners have their fun.  Meanwhile he plunges on with the original NDP Ten Year Plan of foisting non-Catholic teachers on Catholic schools to further dilute their Catholicism.

The biggest illusion promoted is that amalgamation of all the public boards in the metro Toronto area will result in a great big saving.  There will be just bigger salaries for the bureaucrats on the grounds that the number of students have grown immensely and “Our responsibility has grown immeasurable.”  That reads, “Mega bucks for us and no savings for you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer.”

This is not an issue of Catholics vs. public, Christian, Jewish and other private schools.  Many Catholics support the voucher system where support is given to schools of the parents’ choice.  And a number of Catholics elect to send their children to public schools.

Another little boondoggle was that parents would have a new say in school councils.  Why, golly. The NDP have come up with a new name for the old Parent Teacher Associations.  The problem will still be the same: PTA meetings with only a small group of interested parents warring with teachers and principals.  The proposal is poorly thought out.  Who is going to determine what money and how much is going to be allocated to what school and when?  Principals will end up fighting in the schoolyards in order to get their fair share.  We’ll give that idea a D.

Toronto Star’s able columnist, Thomas Walkom, noted recently in a heading that details of the report on education fade under scrutiny.  Walkom states that it was the same NDP government that gave us last year the Common Curriculum that was so unintelligible that the minister had to hire a private firm to translate it from edu-babble into English.  Even then, it says little more than children must be nice to one another and use re-cyclable lunch bags.

Evaluating teachers recommended by the Royal Commission Report is another example of Big Brother hard at work and another layer of totally unnecessary bureaucracy.  When I was a school trustee, principals, vice-principals and assistant superintendents were quite capable of judging the work of teachers.  They didn’t need somebody from Queen’s Park with a telescope looking over their shoulder.

How the Ontario NDP loves proposing how to spend our tax money on wild schemes and running up our ten billion dollar debt!

Give the taxpayers a good  night’s sleep.  Call an election.