April 09, 2014 14:12 ET
Defunding Catholic Schools Should Flow from Religion Exemption Decision
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – April 9, 2014) – The Canadian Secular Alliance (CSA) applauds the Ontario Superior Court decision which confirms Jonathan Erazo and other students are entitled to be exempt from religious services, field trips and Catholic instruction in Catholic publicly-funded high schools.
“While Catholic Boards are quick to defend their legal privilege, they seem to have trouble honouring the legal rights of others,” said Greg Oliver, CSA President.
Catholic Boards have threatened those seeking exemptions with denial of extracurricular programs, honour roll status and graduation in order to preserve their power to coerce non-Catholics into religious participation.
“This also raises the larger question of continuing to fund multiple school systems,” said Oliver. “Using the resources of the state to promote any religion is antithetical to the core principles of liberal democracy. As more parents learn of their legal right to an exemption, the religious identity of Catholic schools will face terminal dilution.”
Public funding of Catholic schools in Ontario continues to be a hot topic.
In a special series, CTV’s Frank Lynn is looking at the groups pushing to end public funding for Catholic schools in Ontario, those pushing to keep the schools open, and the arguments on both sides of the issue.