A very forgetable politician, John Tory, has lost the campaign to the very forgetable Dalton McGuinty. More important, since there's nothing ideologically different between these two men, Roman Catholic education in Ontario is mortally wounded in the crossfire.
The great conundrum of the funding of religious schools lay in the fact the Liberals supported state funding for Roman Catholic schools and no other faiths'. Now the public can reasonably ask why Catholic schools have this funding and the schools of other faiths do not.
I wish John Tory never raised the issue. My kids don't go to Catholic schools, but almost all the people in my extended family did. My older relatives, including my grandmother, taught in them for nothing when times were tough. Women throughout my dad's family -- nuns and lay women -- fought hard for the Cathiolic system. My great aunt Mary Lehane was one of the Catholic teachers federation executives who pried the pension system out of the hands of the province. Her sister Bernie -- my grandmother-- taught for nothing during the Great Depression.
But how can we justify this system? Irish and French Catholics won it at great cost and in the teeth of Oranbge opposition nearly 150 years ago. Their argument: Catholics pay taxes, too.
So do Jews and Muslims.
And so it goes.
There is an unfairness now. One historical wrong was righted by the funding of Catholic schools. But that was in another time, and now, in the ironic name of multicultralism, that era will close.