John Del Grande @john_delgrande is on Twitter. Who’s John Del Grande? John Del Grande describes himself as
Ward 7 TCDSB [Toronto Catholic District School Board] Trustee for Scarborough-North York , Banker, CFE, Political watchdog & strategist, Advocate for taxpayers & joe public.
As you can see, Del Grande claims he is an advocate for taxpayers, but how can that be true when he is responsible for a successful motion that means
A fourth R will be added to the list of educational foundations Toronto’s Catholic students will undergo standardized testing for next school year.
Yes, that fourth R is religion and not just religion: it’s the Catholic religion:
“Catholic Schools are extensions of the Catholic Church and home, and it is our responsibility to ensure we are developing well-formed Catholic students who are knowledgeable about core tenants of our faith,” Del Grande’s motion reads, noting that the standardized religious knowledge assessment will seek “to measure pieces of the Religious/Family Life program pertaining to retention/understanding of faith tenants [sic] and liturgical practices.”
Standardized testing costs money, so how is Del Grande protecting taxpayers when Ontario taxpayers, all Ontario taxpayers, will be paying to ensure the TCDSB is developing well-formed Catholic students who are knowledgeable about core
tenants tenets of the Catholic faith.
Del Grande doesn’t seem to be worried about the non-Catholic taxpayer. After all, he has some high profile and influential people on his team. In an April 30 tweet, Del Grande says
#tcdsb trustees that bishops approved rewritten curriculum that actually increases catechisis [sic] fundamentals.
According to Del Grande, “‘Catholic Schools are extensions of the Catholic Church and home,'” and most parents support the board’s decision to test children’s religious knowledge because the Catholic Church and Catholic parents are the winners in this arrangement.
The Catholic Church in Ontario wins because it doesn’t have to offer and pay for catechism classes for Catholic children because publicly funded Ontario Catholic school teachers are responsible for preparing children for their First Holy Communion and for Confirmation. Catholic parents win because they don’t have to add to their busy schedule the responsibility of teaching Catholicism to their children, convincing their children to attend religion classes after school or making arrangements so their children have transportation to and from these religion classes.
Publicly funded schools should not be an extension of a church, a mosque or a synagogue; unfortunately, the Ontario government is complicit in guaranteeing that Catholic schools remain “extensions of the Catholic Church and home.”
Now is the time to make it very clear to Ontario politicians that a school system for Catholics and a school system for for everyone else is unfair and discriminatory. You will have the opportunity to do this when the candidates from all the main provincial parties ask you to vote for them on June 12. Ask them about the duplication in education costs in Ontario. Be prepared; get the facts at “One Ontario. One School System” and OneSchoolSystem.org.