Bully for Dalton (editorial)
London Community News
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has missed the mark on several issues during his time at the helm of this province. Bill 13 passing — the province’s anti-bullying bill — was not one of them.
Despite opposition from Catholic Church leaders who accused the government of trampling “religious freedom” over changes that would let Catholic students call their anti-homophobia support groups “gay” clubs if they choose to do that — and the Progressive Conservatives — McGuinty’s Liberals, with NDP support, got the bill through.
The PCs said they would not support the bill because they claimed their own Bill 14 had tougher accountability measures, but even NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo said some important amendments to Bill 13 were thanks to PC suggestions.
“Because of Bill 14, there is a better definition of bullying,” she said. “Also there is a look at cyber-bullying — these are all aspects of Bill 14 going into Bill 13.”
Enough playing politics. There is plenty of credit to share. This bill should have received support from all parties. Period.
Now, the opposition from the Catholic Church is another matter.
Frankly, McGuinty was bang-on when he said, Ontario has “fundamental values that transcend any one faith.”
Gay-straight alliances and other clubs provide students with much-needed support. The use of the word ‘gay’ is not a threat to the Catholic education system.
A stubborn refusal to accept current societal norms is.
Not surprisingly, a poll conducted Monday by Forum Research Inc., found that 48 per cent of Ontario residents disagreed with taxpayer support of Catholic schools while 43 per cent agreed with a continuation of public funding. Eight per cent were unsure.
Food for thought, to be sure.