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The Ontario election: some last words.

Ontario voters are preparing to go to the polls in the October 10 provincial election. It is worth re-emphasizing some of the main points Catholic Insight has made in offering guidance to Catholics who are seeking to cast their ballots in support of candidates who, to a significant extent at least, hold positions in keeping with Catholic social teaching.

As has been alluded to a number of times, this coming election is fundamentally a write-off with respect to the three mainline parties, as well as the Green Party, save, perhaps, for a handful of candidates.

The Liberals

The Liberals under Premier Dalton McGuinty have fully adopted the anti-life, anti-family agenda of their counterparts at the federal level.

On his rise to power in 2003 it was noted that McGuinty had no intention of being moderate. In naming his first cabinet, he installed left-wingers in all the top posts (National Post, October 24, 2003). He appointed homosexual activists to head the two most important ministries--health and education. Health Minister George Smitherman went on to "marry" his male companion, Christopher Peloso, on August 5, 2007, with McGuinty's open blessing. "I've got nothing but the best of wishes for George," the premier was quoted as saying (Globe and Mail, August 4, 2007). Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, meanwhile, who had been in a normal marriage and now is in a "committed homosexual lesbian relationship," has called marriage a "tired old institution."

From the start, McGuinty has spoken unequivocally in favour of same-sex "marriage" rights, even though marriage lies within federal jurisdiction: "I've made it very clear. I support same-sex 'marriage'" (Toronto Star, Sept. 24, 2003).

More recently, McGuinty, a Catholic, openly rejected the Church's teaching on abortion when he responded to press inquiries regarding Pope Benedict's statement on the self-excommunication of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. The Liberals have done nothing to stem the bloody tide of some 35,000 abortions annually (perhaps more--statistics are incomplete), funded at taxpayers' expense in the province. In June 2007, he welcomed with open arms California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as they signed a joint agreement in support of destructive embryonic stem cell research which, again, kills unborn human beings (Statistics Canada, July 13, 2007; CI, July-August 2007, pp. 11 and 14).

The "Old" New Democratic Party

The NDP has been the most consistent and staunch pro-abortion and anti-family mainline Ontario party, right from 1965 onwards when then--leader Stephen Lewis became the first Canadian politician to call for legalized abortion. Many will remember the party's terrible reign during the period 1990-1995, with Bob Rae at its head, including the persecution of the pro-life movement instigated by attorney-general Marion Boyd between 1993 and 1995. An injunction she sought against pro-life activity within certain distances of several Toronto abortuaries, which was enacted through a 1994 court ruling, remains in place to this day.

The first thing Bob Rae did was to abolish Sunday as a day of rest. Then the NDP government spent close to a half-million dollars in taxpayers' money to pay for new security systems in all Toronto abortuaries after the still-unsolved bombing of Henry Morgentaler's site in 1992. A year later, it attempted to promote the outlandish recommendations of a "Task Force on Abortion Service Providers"--a wishlist put together by 60 abortionists and abortion advocates.

During the Rae era and since, the Ontario NDP has stood strongly in support of the whole panoply of homosexual rights and in 1984 led early efforts to foist homosexual "marriage" on the country. Rae was prevented from passing legislation recognizing same-sex relationships when evangelical Christians and Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic called upon their faithful to protest it to their MPPs.

Current NDP leader Howard Hampton has continued Rae's support for homosexuality:. "I've supported ... same-sex 'marriages' since my time in the Legislature," he has said. "If people want to assume the obligations that go with marriage ... I believe we should help them do that" (Toronto Star, Sept. 24, 2003).

The Progressive Conservatives

Perhaps most disappointing is the failure of the Progressive Conservative party to embrace social conservatives. The party has refused to drop the term "Progressive" from its name and continues to hanker for "Red Tories." Under the leadership of John Tory, the PCs--with the exception of a few candidates--have thrown their hats in with the Liberals and the NDP on social and moral issues. Carol Goar of the Toronto Star has reported that Tory has been quietly recruiting "progressive" (that is, left-liberal) candidates for the election (Toronto Star, May 21, 2007).

Tory has emerged as perhaps the most extreme of the party leaders, consistently appearing in gay "pride" parades and going so far as to serve as an honorary "distinguished patron" of the Queer Youth Video Project. That project was part of the 17th annual "Inside Out Toronto Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival" this past May. The event showcased such films as Bad Grrls, Clown F--Punk and Triple X Selects--The Best of Lezsploitation. One film was described as "the cream of the crop of smoking-hot hardcore porn for dykes and genderqueers of all stripes" (see CI, July-August, p.13).

As president and CEO of Rogers Cable beginning in 1999, Tory oversaw the expansion to 700 XXX porn stores owned nationally by Rogers, as well as several pornographic TV channels (including homosexually oriented ones). He has been a supporter of same-sex "marriage" rights ever since his campaign to win leadership of the PCs in 2004 (Wikipedia.com; CI, July-August 2007).

The Green Party

With its obsessive and exclusive focus on the environment--its website "demands ecological sustainability"--the Ontario Green Party believes that there are too many people in the world. Consequently, it supports abortion and contraception as avenues to reduce population. As long ago as 1972, its international members were declaring Canada--which even now has just 3.3 people per square kilometre--overpopulated.

The provincial Greens embrace a feminist perspective as a key part of their platform. "This perspective must be applied to the governing of our society," they say, adding that, "All cultural, sexual and spiritual diversity of the Earth's people has intrinsic value."

The federal Green Party is in favour of gay and lesbian "rights," as well as abortion. This past January, it elected as its president Mr. Laurie Arron, president of the Campaign for Equal Marriage and a spokesman for the Equality for Gays And Lesbians Everywhere (EGALE) organization (CI, February 2007, p. 28).

In view of the above, we urge our readers to look elsewhere on voting day.

The Family Coalition Party

Readers will recall that, Catholic Insight endorsed, and is encouraging readers to vote and work for, the Family Coalition Party. "The situation is so bad that it would be inexcusable for us to do otherwise," we said (see July-August 2007, pp. 3 and 12).

The FCP is the only party that holds to the definition of a family as "those individuals related by ties of blood, marriage or adoption." In addition, it sees marriage as a union solely between a woman and a man. The party also pledges not to use public funds for abortion, euthanasia and sex-change operations.

The FCP is fundamentally opposed to the termination of pregnancies and comprehensively proposes, as its pro-life platform: support for pregnant women; healthcare coverage for children in the womb; adoption tax credits; promotion of abstinence education; informed-consent legislation; a mandatory "cooling period" for mothers considering abortion; parental consent legislation; mandatory reporting of abortion complications; recognition of the right of individual healthcare workers to refuse to participate in procedures contrary to their moral convictions or religious beliefs; and the restoration of freedom of speech for pro-family individuals and groups now under threat by homosexualists who, after they acquired legal equality under the SSM legislation of 2005, have declared all opposing views to be "homophobic" and therefore discriminatory and subject to penalties under hate legislation.

Catholic Insight stresses it is additionally crucial that John Tory's PCs receive a stern electoral repudiation at the ballot box come October 10, to send a clear message to him, his advisors, his party and his successors that, in a decadent culture, Catholics and other Christians will not stand for a party that is conservative in name only.

As it stands now, Tory and his "Progressives" are guilty of false advertising. Liberals, NDP and the Greens reject the necessary foundations and protections for the family. Even though the FCP is not likely to win seats, Catholics and other Ontarians should support it, and with that vote keep a clear conscience in adhering to moral truth.

Meanwhile, John Tory has introduced another subject, that of Ontario schools, which deserves a few comments as well.

Funding for faith-based schools

Toronto--Discussion has continued to swirl over Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader John Tory's pledge to fund faith-based schools if his party wins the Oct. 10 provincial election. Opposing the idea have been mainly secularists, who call for a single, public education system as well as the defunding of the Catholic system.

A number of evangelical Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other minority faith groups have spoken in favour of the proposal, but some Christians have voiced their concerns over a requirement that faith schools adhere to provincial curriculum standards that include teachings on evolution, the acceptance of homosexuality, gay "marriage" and more.

McGuinty condemns Tory's proposal as "regressive" and "backwards," while offering only tepid support for continued Catholic funding because, "That's the system we have inherited." Tory replies his intention is not to encourage "segregation," but rather to "make our public education system more inclusive."

The NDP says it supports the status quo. The Green Party wants to have nothing to do with faith-based schools; indeed, it is calling for defunding Catholic schools. It claims "Ontario is becoming a more secular province" (CityNews.ca, August 19, 2007).

Supporters of no-strings-attached funding for all faith-based schools harken to the words of then-Supreme Court chief justice Brian Dickson who, in the R v. Big M Drug Mart (1985) case, said:

"The essence of the concept of freedom of religion is the right to entertain such religious beliefs as a person chooses, the right to declare religious beliefs openly and without fear of hindrance or reprisal and the right to manifest religious belief by worship and practice or by teaching and dissemination ... provided inter alia only that such manifestations do not injure his or her neighbours or their parallel rights to hold and manifest beliefs and opinions of their own" (Christianity.ca, August 8, 2007).

Still, some evangelicals are sounding a note of caution, saying that funding for faith-based schools may actually be a "Trojan horse" aimed at stripping those institutions of the ability to impart moral values. They fear the imposition of provincial curriculum standards that include teachings on evolution, the acceptance of homosexuality, gay "marriage" and more, if the schools receive public funding.

Jack Baribeau, president of Citizen Impact Canada, said he believes 90 per cent of the Christian community has not given the proposal much thought. The proposal undermines the concept of diversity in favour of "one size fits all," he said, adding that parents left the public system for good reasons and do not want it back (London Free Press, August 24, 2007).

The threat of multi-culturalism

Other writers are suspicious of any current politician speaking about diversity of schools. For example, National Post columnist George Jonas has responded to the controversy with a searing piece, "McGuinty is a child of the times." In it, Jonas sarcastically notes, the premier does not mind at all if Ontarians adhere to other religions--as long as they are based in the province's "official religion" of state-sponsored, non-denominational multi-culturalism (SNM). "As long as people keep their antediluvian beliefs to themselves, they can even educate their children in their divisive and barbaric faiths," says Jonas, tongue-in-cheek. "Only they shouldn't look to the premier to fund their endeavours."

Jonas adds that, in fact, growing together and learning from one another are good things that have been derived from faith-based systems of morality. "Geometry is important, but we know about peace and goodwill among men from Luke, not Euclid. We hear about justice from Moses, mercy from Muhammad, charity from Buddha. If getting along harmoniously were a Liberal government's primary goal, it should promote faith-based education instead of opposing it ... For all the lip service contemporary governments pay to diversity, they don't like diversity at all. They hope to eliminate, or at least, to de-fang it. How? Paradoxically, through multiculturalism."

In place of people of diverse denominations worshipping God in their own way, Jonas says, Ontario's political elites want to see a "cookie-cutter universal multicultural person (UMP) worshipping the omnipotent state ... When the government is God, why would it fund the competition? The religion of SNM needs more UMPs, not more Christians, Muslims or Jews" (National Post, August 25, 2007).

Be that as it may, the Jewish community is throwing its support behind Tory. The Canadian Jewish News has strongly rebuked Premier McGuinty for saying that more faith-based schools would lead to segregation ("Spinning too close to demagoguery," Aug. 30, 2007).

Also favouring the Tory proposals are Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Some Jewish writers have rebuked Catholics for remaining silent when as possessors of a Catholic school system they should speak out in favour of more faith-based schools. But both Catholic school representatives and the Ontario Catholic Bishops Conference have declined to offer opinions, the latter on the grounds that they cannot and will not enter the election fray on such a complicated and delicate issue (National Post, Sept. 1, 2007). In support of this view, one of the Catholic schools' main lawyers, Peter Lauwers, published an article indicating that there may be different ways of accommodating other religious groups without creating separate school systems for them (Catholic Register, Sept. 2, 2007).

Although by the beginning of September, John Tory's faith-based school proposal had been discussed in the media since the beginning of June, no one, to our knowledge, had even broached the problem secretly on everybody's mind: Is it wise to provide for equal financing of Muslim schools when Muslim fanatics and intolerance of Western values are there for everybody to see? Now under multiculturalism (M.C.) it is politically incorrect to speak or even think such thoughts. The MC theory holds that all religions are equal and that no one religion is better or worse than any other. But Christians flatly reject that theory and so does the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
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Title Annotation:ONTARIO ELECTION * SECTION
Author:Gosgnach, Tony
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:2409
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