SCS Demands End to Taxpayer Funding Of Ontario RC Schools

February 8, 2024 - 12:00 am

February 7, 2024
RE: Funding for Roman Catholic school systems in Ontario
Dear Member of Ontario Legislature:
Secular Connexion is a non profit organization that advocates on behalf of human rights in Canada. Several of our concerns involve the demographic, financial, and discriminatory problems of funding Roman Catholic school system in Ontario.
This system is supported by only 38% of Ontario’s population, but costs Ontario taxpayers over $1 billion dollars per year. Since only 8% of the cost of the system comes from separate school residential property taxes, the other 92% is funded by all Ontario taxpayers be they Non-believer, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc.

Constitutionally, Section 93 of the Constitution Act of 1867 guarantees the right of provinces to fund minority school systems if they had them before joining Confederation. It does not force Ontario to provide funding for minority school systems. A motion passed in the Ontario Legislative Assembly would phase out funding for the system just as it was in Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Discrimination is inherent in the separate school system because it can legally refuse to hire non-Catholic teachers and it does. Conversely, Catholic teachers are hired by the public system giving them access to all available teaching positions that non-Catholic teachers do not have.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Ontario non-Catholic Ontarians are paying for a system that will not hire them, and may refuse to admit their children as students.

Canada signed the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Ontario has twice been declared to be in violation of the Covenant because of its discriminatory practice of publicly funding schools for one religion. Parents of other religions pay tuition for religious schools and property taxes.

Ontario is multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural. Children of differing backgrounds should be together in the same school so they can learn what they have in common, not what divides them.

One public system would have students attending the nearest school with the children in their neighbourhood, perhaps walking to that school, instead of being bused to a distant school because they are, or aren’t, Catholic.
As Ontario taxpayers, we demand that the Ontario Legislature pass a motion to phase out funding for Roman Catholic schools in Ontario.

Doug Thomas, President
Secular Connexion Séculière