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One in five baby boomers and seniors provides care to an older adult, according to Statistics Canada. (In my experience, this figure is quite conservative.) The majority are in the 45 to 54 age group, giving practical help to a parent.

{mosimage}The debate about the public funding of faith-based schools in the Ontario election campaign could be described as “stork dancing.”  There was no engagement and no contact.  No honest exchange, just a bashing of hard beaks.  And the blame was evenly spread.

{mosimage}Editor’s note: This article offers a perspective on faith-based education from outside Ontario. It is written by Lee Giles, an editor for the Red Deer Advocate, a daily newspaper in Red Deer, Alta. It is reprinted with permission.

If someone asked you to name the Canadian province most likely to embrace religious diversity, you just might choose Ontario. After all, is there anywhere in the country where you could find a greater number of faiths represented than in Toronto? Not likely.

Ontario’s hot-button issue of faith-based schools is not solely one of public vs. private education, or of religious rights vs. the secularity of the state, but rather of the right of parents to educate their own children.

And so the Ontario election is over. The Grits are returned with a majority. The Tories are licking their wounds. The NDP and Green Party observe largely from the margins.  And, of course, the issue of faith-based schools — John Tory’s killer decision — remains for another day of reckoning.

{mosimage}On Oct. 10, Ontario brought a bruising provincial election campaign to a close. On Oct. 11, Ontario Catholics faced the beginning of what could be an even more wounding battle over the very existence of their publicly funded schools.

{mosimage}In many of his homilies and speeches since coming to Toronto, Archbishop Thomas Collins has returned time and again to the theme of joy. It is an attribute implicit to being Christian, yet it is all too rare in practice.

{mosimage}There has been in recent weeks much focus and discussion on Ontario’s strong publicly funded school system. Catholic schools are an integral part of that system, supported by 2.4 million Catholic ratepayers and the province’s three major political parties.


{mosimage} Prior to the 2006 federal election, Faith Today, the magazine of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, published the response of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a question it had put to him: “What role do you think faith should play in developing public policy, and what is the place of religious institutions in contemporary Canadian society?”

{mosimage}The people in the pews are the Body of Christ, and never am I more aware of this than when I am in my parish in Cambridge, Mass. The priest censes the altar. The altar server censes the boys’ choir. He then stands before the People of God and bows his head. We bow our heads. He censes us for, like the altar and the boys’ choir, we are holy. He bows again. We bow again. There is a tremendous dignity in all this — unless, of course, you are allergic to incense and sneeze.

{mosimage}Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a rather indecent rush recently to turn the $14-billion federal surplus from last year into a $725-million tax cut for all Canadians. Granted, we’d all love an extra $30 or so to go shopping at the mall, but before we accept this as a fait accompli, shouldn’t we at least talk about it.