Some of us have religious affiliations and some of us don’t, but we all believe in one non-denominational two-language public school system. It has been estimated the elimination of the separate system could save 1.25 to 1.6 billion dollars a year...(1)
One plaintiff in our proposed court case is a young high school teacher who has been able to obtain only supply or long-term occasional teaching. She can’t qualify for a full-time position in approximately one-third of the publicly-funded permanent teaching positions in her area because she is not Catholic. Yet the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board receives only about 7% of its operational funding from residential property taxes from separate school supporters; it receives about 78% of its operational funding, and all of its capital funding, from general provincial revenues...(2)
That is, from all of us, religious and not religious, Catholic or not Catholic.
On average, from 2002-2003 to 2010-11, separate schools boards received about $1,150 more per student every year than public schools in operational funding from the provincial government...(3)
On average, separate school boards received, from 2011-12 to 2014-15, about $1,600 more per student every year than public schools in operational funding from the provincial government, and about $1,700 more per student every year from the provincial government in combined operational and capital funding..(4)
Another plaintiff is a parent of two children who go to public French schools. The closest publicly-funded French school is about a 20 minute drive away. But his children have to be bused about 55 minutes each way because the closest publicly-funded French school is Catholic Separate
Our constitutional challenge is based on the principle that the funding of the Ontario separate school system violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s.15, which guarantees everyone the equal benefit and protection of the law. With the abolishment of separate schools in Quebec in 1997, and other changes to the legal landscape, the 1987 Reference re Bill 30 (5) case which said the Charter did not apply to the funding of Ontario Catholic Separate schools should be re-examined.
It is not true that the public funding of separate schools is a constitutional issue which is too hard legally to change; Quebec did it. But it is true that Ontario’s main political parties (with the honourable exception of the Green party) will continue to claim they cannot change it, when the truth is they will not. That is why we need to launch this legal challenge.
In a multicultural country of people of many religions, or no religion, it is clearly not fair for one religion to receive government funding.
Look at the Documents hyperlink to the right for more information on how Quebec abolished public funding of separate schools and other information about the costs, including financial, of public funding of separate schools.
and look under our News hyperlink to the right for other articles about OPEN and related issues, and for our fund-raising total so far.
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The Legal Details of our Case (PDF)
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What the Ontario Government Does Not Want You to Know about Separate School Funding (PDF)
Find out how...
Quebec Abolished Separate School Funding (PDF)
OPEN and the Plaintiffs in our case. (PDF)
One Public Education Now (OPEN) Summary. (PDF - added Oct 11/17)
Why Abolishing Public Funding for Separate Schools Would Save Money. (PDF - added Oct 11/17)
More on the Costs, Financial and Otherwise, of Funding of Separate Schools. (PDF - added Oct 11/17)