Close Ontario's Race-based Public Schools
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Before and during the 2007 Ontario general election, the Progressive Conservative party proposed that taxpayers be forced to fund faith-based private schools. Calling evolution "a theory", they proposed that Ontario's curriculum could be changed so as to "teach children that there are other theories that people have out that that are part of some Christian beliefs". Mid-election poll results indicated that one in two Ontarians believed the Progressive Conservatives' proposal would segregate the province along religious lines. Ultimately, their election loss was widely blamed on the Progressive Conservatives' unwillingness to abandon their proposal to fund private faith-based schools with taxpayer dollars.

Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was just as vocal as (then-leader) John Tory about his support for making taxpayers pay for private faith-based schools. On his website, he stated that "Support for parents who choose to send their children to independent faith-based schools has been a long-standing cause for me" (Source -www.timhudakmpp.com/node/83...but don't look for it, because Mr. Hudak is covering his tracks: he has removed the article from his website). Hudak said that the purpose of extending taxpayer funding to religious private schools was "to end discrimination against non-Catholic faith-based schools" (Welland Tribune, July 27, 2007). And, even after the Progressive Conservatives lost the 2007 election, Hudak told the CBC that the Progressive Conservative party "...shouldn't give up on trying to financially help families who send their children to private religious schools." ("Religious School Funding Issue not over: Conservative MPP", CBC, November 1, 2007).

Just days after Hudak's statements to the CBC, it was reported that the Toronto District School Board would be holding two public hearings about whether or not to open a "black-focus" or "africentric" school in Toronto. Tempers ran hot at the meetings, which featured such noteworthy speakers as Loreen Small, the mother of slain student Jordan Manners. In her view, a "black school" would have the effect of segregating students according to race. As she put it "This black school thing. Uh-uh. It's wrong."

"Canadian society has included racial segregation in all facets of social life. While not enshrined in law, it existed nevertheless in informal ways in terms of how things were done and how people understood the "place" of those who were not of European background...Ontario was long the intellectual hub of Canada, so its handling of its huge, newcomer Black population would have informed the rest of the country. Ontario was the province that received the largest number of freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad due to its location in relation to the Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, but also because it was an English speaking area. At the height of the first freedom movement of the Americas, the Underground Railroad, the Common Schools Act was passed, providing for the creation of separate schools. While intended to create separate schools along religious lines, that is Protestant and Catholic, it was used to create segregated Black schools, particularly in those areas of the province less well represented by a vocal abolition community.

Toronto did not develop segregated schools, but in the southwestern parts of Ontario, particularly Windsor and Chatham, segregated schools remained in place. In many cases, local Black families did not wish to have Black only schools, but were forced to do so by the lack of accommodation they received when they attempted to have their children attend a local (White) school.

Near Chatham, in Merlin, the last segregated Black school in Ontario was finally closed in 1965 following lobbying by concerned African-Canadians to have it closed. Elsewhere, segregated schools were phased out around the same time, with the last segregated school in Canada, which was in Nova Scotia, closing in 1983."

- "End of Segregation in Canada"

On January 29, 2008, despite the widespread public opposition to such a school, the Toronto District School Board voted to open Toronto's first "africentric" school. Dalton McGuinty feigned concern, but refused to take any steps to prevent the school from being opened. Tim Hudak - being in favour of taxpayer-funded religious segregation - did not oppose the opening of the race-based school. Toronto's africentric alternative elementary school opened its doors in September of 2009. Students there are now taught in an environment infused by emphasis on race. "Black" teachers teach "black" students "black" history, and other subjects through an "africentric" lens.

King Street Segregated School

Students of King Street School. The school board in Amherstberg, Ontario "...built the
King Street School for African-Canadian students in 1864. It remained segregated
until 1912." (Natasha L. Henry, Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada, p. 48)

To infuse a school environment and curriculum with an emphasis on genetic make-up is wrong to the core. To argue that a "black" child needs "black role models" is to tell the child, implicitly, that "if a black person has never done it before, black people don't do it at all". To focus on "black culture" is to suggest that "this is the culture that black people should have". Such an emphasis on race is racist, and it encourages children to focus on their genetic make-up instead of upon their potential and values as members of the human race.

J.L. Dunn racism

In 1883, J. L. Dunn attempted to send his daughter to a
school attended only by white children, causing an uproar.

Children should not be taught that ones genetic make-up determines ones potential, values, or heroes. Ontario schools should be colour blind. Heroes and heroines - role models - should not be portrayed as heroic because of their skin colour, but because of the greatness of their characters or achievements as human beings.

Dalton McGuinty was wrong not to stop the opening of a race-based public school in Ontario, and Tim Hudak's apparent embrace of segregation in schools is even more worthy of contempt. A Freedom government will do what neither Dalton McGuinty's Liberals nor Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives will do. A Freedom government will permanently eliminate race-based public schools and change the law so that no school board will have the authority to open one ever again.

One race: the human race. That's Freedom Party's stand.


Watch Freedom Party's Close Ontario's Race Based Schools Pre-election Ad:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Freedom Party on the Record

NEW: March 29, 2011
- On the weekend of March 26, 2011, news broke that there is a bid underway to open Toronto's first Africentric secondary school at Oakwood Collegiate Institute starting in September 11, 2011. Families of students attending OCI received an automated call from the school over the weekend asking them to read a notice posted to the school's website. The notice states that a meeting will be held at the school on the evening of March 29, 2011 to take feedback about the idea. A report about the proposal goes before the Toronto District School Board on March 30th, 2011. A vote is expected two weeks thereafter. On the morning of March 29, 2011, Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever was a guest of the John Oakley Show (AM 640 Toronto). Oakley's panel discussed the proposal. You can listen to the debate by clicking here (give the audio file a few seconds or minutes to download before it starts playing).

On January 25, 2011, Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever was a guest of the Friendly Fire program (CFRB 1010, Toronto) with hosts Tarek Fatah and Ryan Doyle. He discussed Freedom Party's election plank, Close Ontario's Race-based Schools, and the accompanying pre-election ad. You can listen to that discussion by clicking here (give the audio file a few seconds or minutes to download before it starts playing).

On January 24, 2008, before the Toronto District School Board voted to open an race-based public school, Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever argued against the school on the television program On the Line (CTS) with host Christine Williams. You can view all three parts of the program on Freedom Party's YouTube channel: part 1, part 2, part 3.

On January 25, 2008, Paul McKeever sent an open letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty asking the provincial goverment to introduce legislation that would remove from all publicly funded educational organizations the authority to set up schools that foster racism, career failure, and educational segregation. You can read the letter here.

One week after the Toronto District School Board voted to open an race-based public school, Freedom Party president Robert Metz argued against the school on the television program On the Line (CTS) with host Christine Williams. You can view the discussion here.

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