Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Digging A Hole

John Tory might be his own worst enemy, when it comes to the faith-based school issue:
Publicly-funded religious schools would be allowed teach creationism and other theories alongside evolution, says Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory.

“They teach evolution in the Ontario curriculum, but they also could teach the fact to the children that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs,” Mr. Tory said at the Kamin Education Centre.

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne- “In terms of the public dollars, those public dollars should go into a curriculum that has been agreed upon as being the one that is the best for our kids and is rooted in science and is rooted in evidence.”

The more Tory highlights this curious position, the more he marginalizes himself from the mainstream. Tory is desperate to position himself as a moderate, socially-progressive conservative, and yet he comes out talking about creationism.

I suppose you could argue that Tory is being taken out of context, but he seems to be inviting controversy by volunteering such information. McGuinty's best strategy might just be to stay out of the way and let Tory keep digging himself a hole.


Lept said...

And, the oh so forceful response from McGuinty's side: 'Well, we allow the Catholics to explore creationism'.
Cowards and panderers all of them!
(Anything other than a secular system drives me crazy - perhaps they should consult with Pauline Marois as to how to take religion out of school systems)

Anonymous said...

Making it harder for the christian wackjobs to enroll in university level science courses seems a good thing to me.

Steve V said...

The funny part, Tory was on the radio today, saying that he wanted to bring the faith-based schools into the fold, to ensure standards and criteria. That reasoning at least sounds plausible, but then he starts promoting ridiculous alternatives to science. Quite a standard.

I think McGuinty is just trying to stay away, a win by default.

That guy said...

Yeah, McGuinty's keeping his head down while Tory does all the screwing up. Sensible politicking, really.

Anonymous said...

Any suggestion that John Tory "favors" or "supports the teaching of creationism" is either Liberal spin, sloppy reporting, or some combination of both.

I think John has been very clear all along that any independent schools that wish to receive public funding would be required to implement the Ontario curriculum (as well as hiring only certified teachers and testing their students using the province's standardized tests).

The Ontario curriculum does not allow the teaching of creationism or any other religious belief or theory in science classes, Those subjects can, however, be part of a religious studies class - as they are right now in many of Ontario's public and Catholic schools.

So Tory's policy would mean that the theory of creation would be handled no differently in independent schools than it is in schools which currently receive public education funding.

Further, his policy would ensure that those faith based schools would have to start following the Ontario curriculum, using only certified teachers, and implementing standardized testing if they wanted to receive any funding from the government.

Steve V said...

"Any suggestion that John Tory "favors" or "supports the teaching of creationism" is either Liberal spin, sloppy reporting, or some combination of both."

Janice, the horse has left the barn. Admirable damage control, but damage control in itself speaks to a serious problem.