I choose to direct my taxes to support the separate school system, therefore I'm the only one who should have a voice in how my tax money is spent.To which, I tried to rebut.
I do not believe someone should have the ability to direct their taxes to specific programs or initiatives. The same way we do not have separate police forces, fire departments, armed forces, transit, roads, or health care, we should not have a separate parallel public education system.
If I directed my tax dollars (for roads, for example) away from anyone who supported the separate school system, I'd likely own a couple of potholes outside a couple of houses. But, that's not right.
Similarly, electing to send your tax dollars to another parallel school system sends support away from the public school system to a public school system that is not inclusive. It's a government-subsidized private system. It's unfair.
I do not hold any disillusion about any major shift in the political winds to remove the Catholic separate school system any time soon, but the more often we talk about it, the more it will become evident that it's the right thing to do.
Some additional information:
- Ontario Catholics are a minority within the province. There are more identified Protestants than Catholics; "no religious affiliation" is a sizable minority as well.
- Catholicism is not endangered in the province nor would private Catholic education be disallowed.
- The United Nations condemned Canada for allowing Catholic separate schools in 1999 and again in 2006. Canada cannot be a beacon for promotion of education for others when we still fund segregation.
- While the Constitution provides the "right" to receive public Catholic education, the Canadian constitution can be amended in this regard. Ontario can hold a referendum on the question (as Newfoundland & Labrador did).