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Aviva Rubin

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An Open Letter to Kathleen Wynne

Posted: 02/06/2013 2:38 pm

Dear Kathleen,

I'm sorry I was so quick to imply that you were unlikely to take on the fight to end the too-long entrenched, unnecessary, and costly funding of two school board systems in Ontario.

Everything I know about you so far tells me you are thoughtful, smart, conciliatory and someone who will stand up to injustice. As a woman and an out lesbian you have already defied the public opinion that suggested this province was not ready for you.

When marginalized people step into positions of power it's hard for them to make decisions that may be ethically right but risk votes and accusations of being that left-wing black guy who crushed our God-given right to own assault rifles to play with at shooting ranges and, oh ya, protect ourselves. Directly following the joy I felt when Obama was inaugurated in 2009, was the understanding that never in American history did a president have so far to fall, with everyone watching, and so many hoping he would fail.

So I understand that confronting such a fraught issue head-on is a hard thing to do. But you are no longer the Minister of Education. You are the ultimate decision maker, the Premier, who is currently facing harsh economic decisions and a labour dispute with teachers that is hacking away all the richness from our children's education and deeply souring their experience. I know. I'm the mom of two young boys, and I've watched them lose many things they love to this fight.

All this, we are told, is a matter of scarce financial resources that the Government wants to ensure go into the classroom and not into teachers' salaries and benefits. (A distinction I find flawed, but that's another article.) Has no one considered the exorbitant cost of managing two huge bureaucracies, one of which is religiously-based, dogma-driven and thus exclusionary?

One of the comments on my last article suggested that Mr. Erazo stop wasting taxpayer money forcing the Catholic school system to legally defend itself, and just put his kids in public school. As I already said, they are in public school -- the really good one, in their neighbourhood. But I agree that the Catholic board shouldn't have to waste public funds defending itself.

And much as I'd like them to, they don't have to change church dogma on homosexuality or reproductive choice. But knowing who they are, knowing what they believe, knowing Catholics are no longer at risk of religious persecution in this province, how can we continue to think it's acceptable to use public money to educate children according to Catholic beliefs?

So here you are at the helm of this brilliantly diverse province, a woman, and a lesbian, who, it is worth noting, could never be at the helm of anything in the Catholic church, with the power to do something about this.

Don't let us down Kathleen. If they could do it in Catholic Quebec, we can do it here. Don't fall back on empty political rationales like the Constitution Act or the will of the people. Do the right thing. Rip off the Band-Aid. I believe the majority in this province, some Catholics included, will rise to support you.

With hope for the future,

Aviva Rubin

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  • Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, right, congratulates incoming premier Kathleen Wynne at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne reacts after becoming the new leader of the Ontario Liberal party at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013. The 59-year-old Toronto politician will be the province's first female and openly gay premier.

  • Sandra Pupatello, right, congratulates Kathleen Wynne after Wynne becomes the new leader of the Ontario Liberal party at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne, left, and her spouse Jane Rounthwaite stand together on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne celebrates with fellow candidates Eric Hoskins (left), Gerard Kennedy (right) and Charles Sousa after they gave her their support at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne reacts to the results of the second ballot at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Sandra Pupatello, right, talks on her phone next to Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, left, at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Before and After

    What the street outside the convention usually looks like and what it looked like during a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/26/ontario-liberal-convention-protest_n_2556296.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics">protest held by Ontario teachers and unions</a> on Saturday afternoon.

  • An Ontario Liberal Party delegate is heckled as protesters gather outside Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on Saturday, January 26, 2013 while the party gathers to vote for a new provincial Leader and in turn a new premier of Ontario.

  • Supporters of Sandra Pupatello look on as Kathleen Wynne gains momentum at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • A look at the size of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/26/ontario-liberal-convention-protest_n_2556296.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics">protest outside the Ontario Liberal Convention</a> in Toronto on Jan. 26, 2013.

  • Sandra Pupatello, left, gets endorsed by Harinder Takhar, right, at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello celebrates with former prime minister John Turner at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne speaks at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne waves with fellow candidate Eric Hoskins (right) and his wife Samantha Nutt (front left) after he arrived to give her his support after the first ballot at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello celebrates with fellow candidate Harinder Takhar after he gave her his support at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Putatello speaks at the convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Kathleen Wynne dances on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention delegates are greeted by hundreds of protesters as they arrive at convention in Toronto on Saturday January 26, 2013.

  • Gerard Kennedy waves on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Harinder Takhar waves on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Charles Sousa waves to supporters while on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Eric Hoskins waves to supporters on stage at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Saturday, January 26, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty waves from the stage with his family after speaking at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Premier Dalton McGuinty and his wife Terri McGuinty take their seats at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Interim federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae greets Premier Dalton McGuinty at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Sandra Pupatello departs after voting at the convention in Toronto on Friday January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne talks with a delegate as she registers to vote at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy talks on his phone at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • A cameraman is silhouetted against a projection screen at the Ontario Liberal Leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate Charles Sousa and his wife Zenaida arrive to vote at the leadership convention in Toronto on Friday, January 25, 2013.

  • Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate supporters hang banners at the site of the convention in Toronto on Thursday January 24, 2013.



 

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