For Immediate Release
July 26, 2013
One Ontario, One School System
LONDON – It’s time to fix Ontario’s outdated education system.
The Green Party of Ontario today launched a new petition calling on the Ontario government to modernize education by funding a single French and English public school system.
“We have one Ontario, we need one public school system,” says Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario. “It’s time to end discrimination in our education system. As we prepare to march in the 19th Annual London Pride Parade, we are reminded that public dollars are unfortunately used to discriminate in hiring teachers based on religious or sexual orientation.”
The UN Human Rights Committee has twice censored Ontario for discrimination in the province’s education system. It is not fair, equitable or responsible to fund one religious school board to the exclusion of all others.
“Moving to one school system in Ontario can help the province achieve fiscal responsibility, efficiency and equality,” adds Gary Brown, GPO candidate in London West. “A fair, efficient publicly funded system should be open to all kids to help them reach their potential.”
It made sense in 1867 to establish funding for separate schools–Catholic and Protestant–but times have changed in the ensuing 146 years. Funding 35 Catholic boards and 1 Protestant board to the exclusion of all other religions does not make sense in Ontario’s diverse society today.
“London’s Pride festivities are an annual celebration of diversity, inclusion and unity,” says Schreiner. “We need to embrace this diversity, yet our provincial government continues to uphold discrimination against LGBTQ teachers and students.”
The Green Party supports a citizen’s assembly or public commission to involve parents, staff, students and community leaders in determining how to merge the best qualities of the Catholic and public school boards into a modern single public French and English school system.
The Green Party’s petition can be found at www.gpo.ca/oneschoolsystem.
Mike Schreiner and Gary Brown will join other Greens this Sunday, July 28, in marching the London Pride Parade at 12:30pm.