Friday, September 14, 2007

Let's raise taxes for Jews and Muslims

What if a political party proposed to raise taxes for Jews and Muslims? The public reaction would surely be one of outrage. And I am pretty sure that outrage would not be limited to Jews and Muslims. Even those of us who might pay less taxes as a result of Jews and Muslims paying more would find the idea unacceptable, if not morally repugnant.

So tell me, what is the difference between a policy that would give preferential tax treatment to some religious groups and current education policy in Ontario? With a straight face, Dalton McGuinty rails against John Tory's proposal to equally fund faith-based schools of all religious denominations, yet defends the current system where Catholic schools are publicly funded and the schools of Jews, Muslims, Anglicans and Hindus are not. Parents of other faiths who desire faith-based schooling for their children too must pay thousands of dollars in tuition per child per year, while their tax dollars fund the schooling of children in Catholic schools.

There are two ways to go here: one, end all funding to Catholic schools and convert existing separate school boards into non-denominational boards, or two, equally fund all faith-based schools.

To defend the status quo is simply out of step with the values of our "multicultural" society. If the constitution is an obstacle to implementing fairness in education policy, then we should change the constitution. It is simply intolerant to champion the discriminatory treatment of other religious groups.

Shame on Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberal Party.