Opinion Letters

Government should get its priorities straight

Leonard Baak

Re: Grits embark on spending spree, Mar 26, 2010

If Finance Minister Dwight Duncan's "biggest concern" was truly "preserving and enhancing public services in education and health care", he would have done considerably more to deal with a deficit that poses a serious threat to those very services as it adds to our already massive debt over time.

One thing he could have done was to eliminate the relative non-essential of Catholic school funding. Apart from being enormously discriminatory to fund the religious schools of one faith and no others, the funding of duplicate school systems serving overlapping jurisdictions is enormously wasteful. That money could be better spent on any of the more important public services suffering inadequate funding now.

If Catholic parents really want to teach their children about God, that's great. I think it will make them better people. But do it the way the rest of us do -- go to Church, mosque, synagogue, or temple on your own time and on your own dime. The taxpayers' dimes are needed for far more pressing concerns -- services people cannot provide themselves.

Leonard Baak

president, Education Equality in Ontario (www.OneSchoolSystem.org), Ottawa