- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2010

While there is much to admire and even emulate in Canada, Lance Izumi and Jason Clemens missed the boat in their Tuesday Commentary column, “Learning from Canada’s schools.”

Several points need to be made:

c Canada’s constitution, unlike ours, does not contain a provision to protect citizens from being compelled by government to support faith-based institutions.

c Ontario, Canada’s largest province, supports Catholic schools but refuses to support Protestant, Jewish or other faith-based schools despite wide local and international condemnation of this discrimination.

c Quebec, Canada’s second-largest province, did away with tax funding for faith-based schooling in favor of French- and English-language-based public schools.

c British Columbia supports only public schools.

c Newfoundland had only tax-supported, faith-based schools until the 1990s, when the province’s voters scrapped the old system in a referendum 3-1 in favor of having all public schools. In place of faith-based schools, Newfoundland’s public schools provide neutral instruction about all of the religious traditions in the province, including those of the native Inuit. That is a program we lack in the United States but perhaps should emulate.

Yes, let’s learn from other countries - what to copy, what to ignore.


President, Americans for Religious Liberty

Silver Spring, Md.

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