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Toronto School Board eyes "Afro-centric" school


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Wilber, who pays the $100 per child sent out by the federal government? Whose dime is that?

Does the government dictate how parents spend that $100 - even though the money comes from taxpayers?

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What $100 are you referring to?

Secondly, there are local boards of education which often organize schools differently from one another. For example, rural schools don't offer the same programmes as urban schools.

Thirdly, many school districts offer specialized programmes for exceptional students. There are special education classes, music classes and so on.

The same basic program applies to all and all students have to meet the same academic standards in this part of the country. There may be a variety of optional classes like the ones you mention plus ESL etc and separate programs available for more gifted students but they are not offered in separate schools. We do have a category of Fundamental or Traditional Schools offered in several school districts which put more emphasis on such things as the 3 R's and where to quote the Langley school district:

•Everyone emphasizes the importance of learning

•School time is used for learning

•Discipline is firm and consistent

•There are pleasant conditions for teaching and learning

•Strong leadership guides the instructional program

•There are high expectations for quality instruction

•Parents and community members are invited to become involved

•Learning progress is monitored closely

They have proved extremely popular with long waiting lists and have no ethnic, racial or religious connection.

One thing I could never understand is the PC concept of English being a second language in Canada.

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As long as certain basic standards are met, then I think letting parents choose where to send their children is a good thing. After all, we let parents decide how to spend the $100 per month they receive for toddlers.

Public school system should not have to build individual schools for every interest. That is the function of private schools. As far as I know there is no academic standard or requirement for children to attend daycare. The idea of the $100 was to make the benefit equal for all parents, not cater to one particular group. In that respect it is entirely consistent with the idea of the same public education for all.

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What $100 are you referring to?
In the past federal election, the Tories proposed giving $100/month to parents for each child 6 years or under. The Liberals objected to giving the money to parents and wanted to have day care places and bureaucrats spend the money instead. (Perhaps you recall the famous "beer and popcorn" comment.)

Wilber, you are taking the same position as the Liberal Party. You would prefer to have bureaucrats control the spending rather than let parents choose. IMV, if enough parents want to have a black-focussed school and the school board is willing to organize it, then I ask: why not? This proposal takes power away from bureaucrats and gives it to parents - just like the Tory $100 proposal did.

Schools work best when the local community decides how to organize them. In small-town Canada, that is exactly what happens and the local school provides for the special needs of the local community.

The same basic program applies to all and all students have to meet the same academic standards in this part of the country. There may be a variety of optional classes like the ones you mention plus ESL etc and separate programs available for more gifted students but they are not offered in separate schools....
Your caveat belies your point. We have different schools teaching different things to different pupils.

Ultimately, Wilber, it's called letting people choose what is best for themselves. True, in the case of education, all of this is being financed with taxpayer money but I don't think anyone is seriously proposing that education should be an entirely private matter. The question is how to spend taxpayer money and you seem to believe that bureaucrats can do that better. I disagree. I think parents are better placed to know and the evidence is that they do.

Canada is diverse and its schools sytem is diverse too.

Public school system should not have to build individual schools for every interest.
We have to build an individual schoolplace for every pupil. Do you propose that we do this like McDonalds (identical across the country) or should we let the local community decide to vary the menu? Edited by August1991
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Ultimately, Wilber, it's called letting people choose what is best for themselves. True, in the case of education, all of this is being financed with taxpayer money but I don't think anyone is seriously proposing that education should be an entirely private matter. The question is how to spend taxpayer money and you seem to believe that bureaucrats can do that better. I disagree. I think parents are better placed to know and the evidence is that they do.

Canada is diverse and its schools sytem is diverse too.

I think that the public school system should be the same for all comers. Of course there should be programs for the disabled and for honors students. Other than that, if someone wants to be schooled in a particular religion, or a particular skin color, that is the job for private schools, at private expense.
We have to build an individual schoolplace for every pupil. Do you propose that we do this like McDonalds (identical across the country) or should we let the local community decide to vary the menu?
No, but the division should not be along racial or religious lines.
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The revolting outcome (link, excerpts below):

T.O. Board Trustees Approve Black-Focused School After Furious Debate

Tuesday January 29, 2008

CityNews.ca Staff

There was plenty of controversy and plenty of debate, but when the dust finally settled late Tuesday night the Toronto District School Board said yes to so-called Black-focused schools.

Tuesday's vote actually capped months of heated back-and-forth involving parents, students, teachers and trustees, the end result of which was the Board throwing its support behind, "four innovative strategies for improving the success of Black students."

****************

But not everyone seconded those sentiments. Dozens that stood in the crowded Board headquarters spoke adamantly against the idea, including Loreen Small, whose 14-year-old son Jordan Manners was shot and killed inside CW Jefferys C.I. last year.

"What we're doing, we're segregating each other," Small insisted. "Let us all come together and be as one."

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I think that the public school system should be the same for all comers. Of course there should be programs for the disabled and for honors students. Other than that, if someone wants to be schooled in a particular religion, or a particular skin color, that is the job for private schools, at private expense.
jbg, you have an American understanding of minority issues.

For example, in the US there is a federal department of education. That is unthinkable in Canada. OTOH, in Canada, we have a constitutional provision that ensures separate schools according to language. That would be unthinkable in the US.

You shouldn't apply your American sense of fairness to other countries. There are many ways to form a civilized society.

Edited by August1991
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jbg, you have an American understanding of minority issues.

For example, in the US there is a federal department of education. That is unthinkable in Canada. OTOH, in Canada, we have a constitutional provision that ensures separate schools according to language. That would be unthinkable in the US.

You shouldn't apply your American sense of fairness to other countries. There are many ways to form a civilized society.

Good points, but the Federal Department of Education handles grant and loan programs, not the meat and potatoes of schools, which are local, not even state, functions overall.
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Good points, but the Federal Department of Education handles grant and loan programs, not the meat and potatoes of schools, which are local, not even state, functions overall.
The US federal HEW does more than that but I'm willing to agree that education in the US is largely an affair of local communities. With that said, school bussing was a tremendous federal intervention into local state affairs.

Such intervention would be unthinkable in Canada and the closest we came was when Trudeau included the phrase "where numbers warrant" in the Charter.

Canada is largely a Catholic country and Catholics form the largest single religious group. Nonetheless, Protestants have traditionally held economic power while sharing federal political power. (If I'm not mistaken, Dalton McGuinty is the first non-Protestant (ie Catholic) PM of Ontario. Catholics tend to be Liberal; Protestants tend to be Conservative.)

Canadians have devised various ways to accommodate minorities (religious, linguistic or other). Sometimes we use conventions: in Newfoundland, where the population is 60/40 Protestant/Catholic, the tradition is that a minister is one and the deputy minister another. Sometimes we use a written code: the original BNA Act required separate Protestant and Catholic school boards in Quebec.

The US has chosen other ways to accommodate its single largest minority: blacks.

All of this is to say that the idea of a Black-focussed or Afro-centric school is sort of in the tradition of Canadian accommodation. For myself, it just seems that if some parents want to send their kids to a special school, then who am I to say no? Moreover, if it works and the kids learn more, then let's be practical about this.

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Yes, August, let's be practical about this.

Would I have your support for a white-only school in Alberta? Remember, "where numbers warrant" and where I live, they do.

You say let's be practical about racism. Kid's will learn more? Why can't they learn in the existing school system? If the core subject matter (math, english, science, social studies) will remain the same (math isn't black by the way) then why would anyone expect these segregated students to improve their scores in an all-black school? Do the teachers have to be black to work there? I'd like to see the Human Rights Circus on THAT one.

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I have enjoyed the people on both sides of this debate. Its been one of the better ones I think with some very valid points on both sides discussed. I do wish to repsond to Hydra a bit. Hydra its precisely because of what you raise I just have this gut feeling that this is a racist solution to racism.

We have to teach Aboriginal, British and French history as integral components of history and geography of Canada annd from a perspective of the aboriginal one preceding the other two and how the three have conflicted but our nation was designed supposedly to prevent conflict between the 3 and achieve a harmony and on-going place for the three to work out their conflicts and accommodate other cultures that would come along.

I have always felt that and a comparative faith class teaching all religions are very practical, rudamentary givens to deal with racism and ignorance, that andetaching kids from different cultures to work together, i.e., in sports, art, music and other learning activities.

I always have felt specific specialized cultural or religious education after that is up to the families after school and their ethnic communities.

For me in the specific ase of aboriginals I see the issue as trying to find a way to address how our policies have directly destroyed their families and communities and how the two need to be restored for their communities to break the cycles of social despair.

For other communities sure we need to have strong communities but we can't just build fragmented ghettoes we need to use such communities to builder a greater vision and not prevent us from developing that greater vision.

I have nothing against multi-culturalism but it should not be confused with using it as an excuse not to build a greater collective vision called Canada.

The aboriginal component, the British and French (and their Catholic and Protestant) components are reality not something to repress or ignore. They are what we are and when our other communities join them, we should not use any one experience to put down any other, and the entire combination creates Canada and but only if we put Canada first.

This still allows the aboriginal dimension to thrive on its parallel level of existence and it allows the Anglo-French traditions to serve as a glue for all the other contributions.

Nation building is about taking the fragmentation and building a greater whole and that ironically is an aboriginal concept-the concept that identity is holistic and collective, not just isolated and individual.

Sure on one level I want all kids to be proud of who they are. Yes I know if you do not feel good about yourself you don't do well. I understand that. I just don't know though if that is what school is for. That feeling good about oneself has to also come from parents, communities, religions, cultures and I am not sure the schools can or should do that precisely because of the implication Hydra raises.

Edited by Rue
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I think the jury is still out whether we can remain a country or cohesive society with an ever increasing number of interest groups pulling in different directions and governments trying to appease them all. By continually trying to be all things to all people do we run the risk of eventually meaning nothing to any of them? We see all kinds of examples throughout the world were such policies have eventually resulted in countries tearing themselves apart, often with great violence. Will we be such a country? In true Canadian fashion will we just non violently wander off in our own separate directions because we have nothing to really bind us together? Will we survive? Far too early to tell but it is a risky course and a far from proven one.

By all means let's not forget our roots but the business of our governments is to promote a Canadian vision, not a Euro-centric, Afro-centric, Asia-centric or any other centric vision that is not Canadian. In a country such as Canada that is a work in progress because our make up is continually changing and the more we try to help people stay separate by rooting them in their non Canadian past (real or mythical), the longer it will take to happen whatever it turns out to be, if it can happen at all.

The concept expressed on this thread that there is "no such thing as a Canadian view" is very telling and something that you are unlikely hear expressed when the citizens of other countries are talking about their own country and its history. During the last referendum I was working in the US and an American co worker ask me why we put up with this crap, in his country it would be regarded as treason and they had a civil war to settle it. A hundred and forty years after their civil war and our Confederation it is not the US where the specter of separation is continually being raised by people in different regions of the country.

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The US federal HEW does more than that but I'm willing to agree that education in the US is largely an affair of local communities. With that said, school bussing was a tremendous federal intervention into local state affairs.

Such intervention would be unthinkable in Canada and the closest we came was when Trudeau included the phrase "where numbers warrant" in the Charter.

Canada is largely a Catholic country and Catholics form the largest single religious group. Nonetheless, Protestants have traditionally held economic power while sharing federal political power. (If I'm not mistaken, Dalton McGuinty is the first non-Protestant (ie Catholic) PM of Ontario. Catholics tend to be Liberal; Protestants tend to be Conservative.)

Canadians have devised various ways to accommodate minorities (religious, linguistic or other). Sometimes we use conventions: in Newfoundland, where the population is 60/40 Protestant/Catholic, the tradition is that a minister is one and the deputy minister another. Sometimes we use a written code: the original BNA Act required separate Protestant and Catholic school boards in Quebec.

The US has chosen other ways to accommodate its single largest minority: blacks.

All of this is to say that the idea of a Black-focussed or Afro-centric school is sort of in the tradition of Canadian accommodation. For myself, it just seems that if some parents want to send their kids to a special school, then who am I to say no? Moreover, if it works and the kids learn more, then let's be practical about this.

We're not debating whether or not faith/race schools should be banned. If people want to set up a school that has a class saying that we should worship cats that's fine, but we as taxpayers should not be funding this "adventure". They can pay for their special schools out of their own pocket.

The fact that faith/race schools are even allowed to exist in Canada shows our tradition of accomodation.

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Yes, August, let's be practical about this.

Would I have your support for a white-only school in Alberta? Remember, "where numbers warrant" and where I live, they do.

Well practically speaking, there are many, many schools across Canada in which all the teachers, pupils and administrators are "white" - so I guess whites-only schools exist.

My point is that schools in small towns or rural areas across Canada frequently teach children using examples that are appropriate for the environment of the children. This is certainly the case between provinces but it's also true between urban and rural schools.

As a matter of fact, this proposal to have an afocentric does not mean that it will only accept "blacks" - anymore than current all-white schools refuse non-whites. Nevertheless, urban schools must have criteria for selection and so it's wrong to say that they accept all applicants. They must discriminate.

For other communities sure we need to have strong communities but we can't just build fragmented ghettoes we need to use such communities to builder a greater vision and not prevent us from developing that greater vision.
Rue, you keep referring to this idea of homogeneous education. In fact, that's not how education in Canada is organized. Education is a provincial jurisdiction and provincial governments guard this jealously. We don't have the same curricula across Canada. Even within provinces, there are significant differences in programme delivery. This is at the heart of Canada's nature.
We're not debating whether or not faith/race schools should be banned. If people want to set up a school that has a class saying that we should worship cats that's fine, but we as taxpayers should not be funding this "adventure". They can pay for their special schools out of their own pocket.

The fact that faith/race schools are even allowed to exist in Canada shows our tradition of accomodation.

This is another common argument. If the taxpayer pays, then it must be one-size-fits-all.

Well blueblood, do you agree with Tories $100/child monthly payment? That's taxpayer money and yet parents are free to spend as they wish. (The Liberals wanted to spend the money on a one-size-fits-all daycare scheme.)

The government gives taxpayer money to Canadians for all kinds of reasons (OAP, EI, CPP, refundable child tax credits and so on). Does the government dictate how people should spend that money? Would it improve the lives of Canadians if it did?

It is one thing to subsidize education in Canada. It is another thing to decide how that subsidy will be used. I happen to think that parents are probably better placed to decide how our education subsidies are used rather than bureaucrats in a central office.

The government picks up the tab if you see a medical doctor. The government does not decide the medical doctor you see. You are free to choose to see an MD who is a woman, a man, a young person or someone older or an MD of your own religion. Would it be better if a government bureaucrat chose the MD for you?

Edited by August1991
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Well practically speaking, there are many, many schools across Canada in which all the teachers, pupils and administrators are "white" - so I guess whites-only schools exist.

My point is that schools in small towns or rural areas across Canada frequently teach children using examples that are appropriate for the environment of the children. This is certainly the case between provinces but it's also true between urban and rural schools.

As a matter of fact, this proposal to have an afocentric does not mean that it will only accept "blacks" - anymore than current all-white schools refuse non-whites. Nevertheless, urban schools must have criteria for selection and so it's wrong to say that they accept all applicants. They must discriminate.

Rue, you keep referring to this idea of homogeneous education. In fact, that's not how education in Canada is organized. Education is a provincial jurisdiction and provincial governments guard this jealously. We don't have the same curricula across Canada. Even within provinces, there are significant differences in programme delivery. This is at the heart of Canada's nature.

This is another common argument. If the taxpayer pays, then it must be one-size-fits-all.

Well blueblood, do you agree with Tories $100/child monthly payment? That's taxpayer money and yet parents are free to spend as they wish. (The Liberals wanted to spend the money on a one-size-fits-all daycare scheme.)

The government gives taxpayer money to Canadians for all kinds of reasons (OAP, EI, CPP, refundable child tax credits and so on). Does the government dictate how people should spend that money? Would it improve the lives of Canadians if it did?

It is one thing to subsidize education in Canada. It is another thing to decide how that subsidy will be used. I happen to think that parents are probably better placed to decide how our education subsidies are used rather than bureaucrats in a central office.

The government picks up the tab if you see a medical doctor. The government does not decide the medical doctor you see. You are free to choose to see an MD who is a woman, a man, a young person or someone older or an MD of your own religion. Would it be better if a government bureaucrat chose the MD for you?

Your comparing apples and oranges. I have beat it to death that we have a standard childcare program and a standard education program. Want more then PAY FOR IT.

If you wanted to make a fair comparison then give the parents a check for say 10 grand or however much it is to educate in the public school system and let them decide how to school their children. Some might squandor it, some might spend it wisely. Hmm. this isn't a bad idea, a grade 12 diploma might have merit again... But we don't do that in Canada, so a standard must be maintained, if you want more there is nothing stopping you from getting it except for your financial ability. You are suggesting we have our cake and eat it too.

That doctor argument doesn't hold water, where I live my taxes go to doctor pay and I have to see the guy here, if I want someone else I have to hop in the old truck and travel an hour to see someone else. I want more, I pay.

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Your comparing apples and oranges.
No I'm not. And if you gave it some thought, you'd realize I'm comparing apples and apples.

You can buy a gift for someone, you can give them a gift certificate for a specific store or you can give them cash. As it stands in Canada now, we largely give them a gift certificate for "Education". The parents then choose the school for their kids. We do this now. The idea of an Afrocentric school merely broadens the choice a little bit.

No one would want to have a system where we gave "school" to kids with no choice at all.

If you wanted to make a fair comparison then give the parents a check for say 10 grand or however much it is to educate in the public school system and let them decide how to school their children. Some might squandor it, some might spend it wisely. Hmm. this isn't a bad idea, a grade 12 diploma might have merit again... But we don't do that in Canada, so a standard must be maintained, if you want more there is nothing stopping you from getting it except for your financial ability. You are suggesting we have our cake and eat it too.
We almost do that now in Canada. Parents can choose their school by where they live. In Quebec, there are many private schools subsidized by the State that offer a variety of different programmes. But even in the rest of Canada, different school districts have different schools and parents choose to live in an area according to the local school.

IOW, we give the ten grand to parents and the only requirement is that they spend it on the school of their choice. (They can't blow it on beer and popcorn.)

BTW, we don't have a national daycare system although the Liberals wanted to create one. Apparently, you want to do that too blueblood.

Edited by August1991
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No I'm not. And if you gave it some thought, you'd realize I'm comparing apples and apples.

We almost do that now in Canada. Parents can choose their school by where they live. In Quebec, there are many private schools subsidized by the State that offer a variety of different programmes. But even in the rest of Canada, different school districts have different schools and parents choose to live in an area according to the local school.

IOW, we give the ten grand to parents and the only requirement is that they spend it on the school of their choice. (They can't blow it on beer and popcorn.)

BTW, we don't have a national daycare system although the Liberals wanted to create one. Apparently, you want to do that too blueblood.

The State should not subsidize private schools, only the run of the mill public schools, anything else you pay for. That is more than fair, we cannot have our cake and eat it too. I know you subsidize everything in Quebec, it is also one of the most financially strapped regions on the continent.

As for choice you keep referring to, how about the healthcare system? I can do the regular thing or I can choose to pay and get my medical stuff done faster. I'm not saying taking the choice away entirely, but if the status quo isn't good enough for you, it's up to you to pay for other options, not the taxpayers. What you are suggesting for the schools would be like the poor of Canada subsidizing private clinics they will never be able to afford to use, which IMO is lunacy. (Also lunacy is being forced to take gov't healthcare)

We do not give our ten grand to parents. I don't know of any parent receiving that cheque. That money goes straight to the public school system to fund a standard education for Canadian society. If you want something else, it comes out of your pocket. I suggest if we are talking about the daycare thing, hand out a 10 grand cheque and let the parents educate their kid however they want, it could help out with tuition for a classy school in B.C., a public school in MB, an Afro school in toronto, home school, or beer and popcorn - just like the daycare you keep bringing up. Some people would love a 10 grand check every year to decide what to do with their child's education.

I believe we do have a daycare system in Canada, it's called the 400 dollars a month Conservative plan. My taxes go to paying for this system. It is the standard system in Canada for taking care of kids (all be it a libertarian system)

Edited by blueblood
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We do not give our ten grand to parents. I don't know of any parent receiving that cheque. That money goes straight to the public school system to fund a standard education for Canadian society.
Blueblood, are you this thick in real life?

A public school in Canada receives a subsidy according to the number of children enrolled. The parents choose to enroll the child in a particular school. How? There are different schools in urban areas and parents can move to different neighbourhoods or cities to pick the school. For high schools in urban areas, students often choose a high school far from home. In effect, the parents/students decide which school gets the $10,000.

I agree that this process isn't perfect and parents don't always have a good choice. For starters, all the teachers in all schools must be members of the provincial teachers union.

[incidentally, we have a similar system with far more choice for university and colleges. The government pays a subsidy based on enrollment so in effect students control which university/college gets the subsidy.]

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Blueblood, are you this thick in real life?

A public school in Canada receives a subsidy according to the number of children enrolled. The parents choose to enroll the child in a particular school. How? There are different schools in urban areas and parents can move to different neighbourhoods or cities to pick the school. For high schools in urban areas, students often choose a high school far from home. In effect, the parents/students decide which school gets the $10,000.

I agree that this process isn't perfect and parents don't always have a good choice. For starters, all the teachers in all schools must be members of the provincial teachers union.

[incidentally, we have a similar system with far more choice for university and colleges. The government pays a subsidy based on enrollment so in effect students control which university/college gets the subsidy.]

I have it different. Two high schools, one public one private. Funding isn't determined by school population but by revenue generated by taxes. Before the neighboring school division amalgamated, the one in my town was bringing in a lot of tax revenue by the tax generated on farmland and with the student pop. decreasing year by year, the students were getting a lot more money per capita spent on them. The private school didn't do so well as it needed tuition from the private sector to function and it eventually had to close due to low numbers. The public school was doing so well that it could afford a good CPU lab and school buses for varsity sports trips. The public school kids were getting a better education because of the higher tax revenue and lower pop. and nobody minded paying the taxes because of the good education the kids got.

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jbg, you have an American understanding of minority issues.

For example, in the US there is a federal department of education. That is unthinkable in Canada. OTOH, in Canada, we have a constitutional provision that ensures separate schools according to language. That would be unthinkable in the US.

You shouldn't apply your American sense of fairness to other countries. There are many ways to form a civilized society.

I would respectfullly disagree and would argue the American understanding of minority issues other then language is not any different.

The constitution does entrench the right to French and English as official languages, but from a practical point of view all it means is where numebrs warrant it, there should be French and English schools. I would argue we legally have embraced embraced pretty much the same values JBG has stated other then with language.

That vision of minority rights other then language has been used as legal precedents as US constitutional provisions for such issues are very similiar in wording to ours and so are actually helpful since British law does not have a specific constitution and is found in a range of statutes, case law precedent and unwritten protocol which is not helpful when trying to create rules of interpretation.

Many legal reasons in the United States, particularly those of Felix Frankfurter have been used in Canada and you can see their influence in many decisions one of our leading constitutional Judges Bora Laskin when he formulated decisions. U.S. Supreme Court decisions from Thurgood Marshall can be seen referred to in certain constitutional decisions.

The model proposed by Martin Luther King for social harmony is precisely the basis for our human rights codes. Much of the wording comes as a direct result of legal doctrine he helped create. Believe it or not another source for some of our concepts as to human rights comes from Ralph Nader and consumer rights legislation he initiated in the US which then were borrowed in the civil rights and human rights arenas, particularly in terms of defining public accountability, consistency in public standards, and ethical practices when dealing with the public.

Our approach to multi-cultural policy "on the ground" is very different then the US one which emphasizes America first and what-ever else you are second while in Canada our policy has been you can be what-ever you are and that is considered Canadian.

But this difference approach is not a legal one just a practical one. It is often assumed to be a legal one but when you read our constitutional decisions carefully, while multi-culturalism is encouraged and guaranteed none of our decisions say it supercedes federal power or the overall need for laws that will take precedent over such policies.

All our cultural rights, even our language rights and race rights, are all subject to an over-ride clause that says the best interests of the nation as a whole comes first.

So legally we are not different then the US, its just our practical application outside the legal arena and in the political arena may be different.

This issue of specialized schools for designated groups is not a constitutional issue. It is clearly within the mandate of each province's education laws. It does not violate any federal laws or impede on federal law so its technically not unconstitutional.

It is technically possible a parent of a child in a group who feels they should have their own special school and does not have one, could initiate a human rights complaint saying the creation of special schools for only some groups and not others discriminates and we could have a human rights litigation issue. That technically would not be a constitutional issue as no one is disputing the jurisdiction of the law just its contents. It might be a Charter issue but even then I doubt it since Charter rights are not absolute and if there is discrimination as a result of practical financial limitations of a government as to what it can do, Judges are not going to define that as discrimination just legitimate limitations as to what services can be provided.

Edited by Rue
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Our approach to multi-cultural policy "on the ground" is very different then the US one which emphasizes America first and what-ever else you are second while in Canada our policy has been you can be what-ever you are and that is considered Canadian.
Excellent summary of the major differences, plus the language difference.

One thing I wonder, and maybe August1991 or Capricorn can take a stab at this, why doesn't the "when numbers warrant" analysis protect the rights of English speakers in Quebec the way it does French speakers in Ontario, Saskatchewan or Alberta?

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English Caucasion Canadians are not equal under the law. We are the only group in Canada that cannot file HRC discrimination complaints based on race, or on English as a primary language.

edit:

That was incorrect. We can file them, but the HRC will find nothing to further the complaint on those basis.

Edited by Hydraboss
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English Caucasion Canadians are not equal under the law. We are the only group in Canada that cannot file HRC discrimination complaints based on race, or on English as a primary language.

edit:

That was incorrect. We can file them, but the HRC will find nothing to further the complaint on those basis.

Sad,

Thanks for the answer. I, like all Americans, know nothing about Canada.

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English Caucasion Canadians are not equal under the law. We are the only group in Canada that cannot file HRC discrimination complaints based on race, or on English as a primary language.

edit:

That was incorrect. We can file them, but the HRC will find nothing to further the complaint on those basis.

I think I know what you mean but we should clarify. As a caucasian in Quebec or anywhere else in Canada you could technically file a race complaint if you thought you could prove racism based on your caucasianism.

In regards to your English language rights in Quebec as an Anglo-phone ( of any race or gender or gender preference) I would 100% agree with you.

Interestingly our federal and provinvial laws have avoided defining Quebecers as a race but as a collective cultural group with French laguage commonality. While certain Quebec seperatists and/or nationalists have attempted to turn it into a race issue using the term "Purelaines" suggesting specific caucasian blood lines from France that concept has not been pushed when either the Quebec governments of seperatist or nationalist movements have challenged federality in the courts. They know better. It would violate the Charter and be unenforceable which is precisely why they couch their agenda and who they consider Quebecois and legal references to Quebecois define it as a collective cultural and/or linguistic phenomena.

Race in Canada in the past has been used as a concept to define and discriminate against aboriginals, blacks, Asians (Japanese, Chinese, Sikhs) and Jews and now visible minorities, but race as an actual legal precept is defined in a context of discrimination against someone because of perceived physical characteristics to make it equally apply to people with visible disabilities, gender preference, obesity. Its become a fluid concept more dependent on perceived visible characteristics since its hard to define many people's races since they are mixed.

Pretty much the same has happened in the states with its civil rights decisions. The simplistic black v.s. white concept of race has completely changed due to the world shrinking and the movement of so many different types of peoples not to mention the courts finally figuring out that the aboriginal collective is far more complex then defining it as a physical skin colour.

As for Jews being a race which has always been an on-gong debate, what we are really talking about is someone's physical characteristics perceived to be Jewish by the disriminator. Like Muslims or Caucasians, etc., Jews may or may not look visibly distinct. In fact often the discrimination comes from their name not what they look like. Likewise with Muslims or anyone else.

Quebecois in many peoples' minds means white Quebecois but interestingly the Levesque wing of the seperatist movement did not want it defined by race, just shared interest in French culture and language as being the primary ones in need of state protection. Rene Levesque was a seperatist but far from a racist and much of his experience was shaped as a world war two journalist who witnessed the holocaust first hand. He was anything but a racist. Lucien Bouchard who followed him also felt this way. Jacques Parizzeau of the other wing of the PQ was an out and out racist who continually used the word Purelaines, made openly anti-immigrant and anti-semitic concepts and made it clear he felt anyone who was not Purelaines was not a real Quebecer. Racism in Quebec has always been around as part of a legacy picked up from France's attitude towards non whites which they mimmicked and the Catholic Church helped promulgate which could be seen during World War Two when many prominent Quebec nationalists and the Catholic church openly supported Mussolini (couching their support for Hitler through Mussolini).

Edited by Rue
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Interestingly our federal and provinvial laws have avoided defining Quebecers as a race but as a collective cultural group with French laguage commonality. While certain Quebec seperatists and/or nationalists have attempted to turn it into a race issue using the term "Purelaines" suggesting specific caucasian blood lines from France that concept has not been pushed when either the Quebec governments of seperatist or nationalist movements have challenged federality in the courts.

I think you are wrong.

Pure laine refers to someone whose ancestry is entirely Quebecois and has nothing to do with blood lines from France.

Many consider the term to be racist in a multicultural country like Canada.

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