CFI member (and former board chair) Richard Thain has been a tireless campaigner for the elimination of the publicly funded religious school system in Ontario.    Richard’s most recent efforts have been successful in getting a series of ads on bus shelters in Winnipeg.  His aim was to have the ads appear at the time of the official opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights  in that city – unfortunately, the first advertising company approached to run billboards (Pattison Outdoor), though initially interested, refused to accept the job, citing concerns about violations of the  Canadian Code of Advertising Standards.    In the end, Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) accepted the message – a story mirroring that of CFI’s own billboard campaign.

Richard explains:

“This is a human rights issue here in Ontario.  We all bear the same tax burden, but only people of one religious faith have their own school system. Let’s treat all the religious groups the same.”

When presented with the standard objection that funding for Ontario’s Catholic schools is entrenched in the constitution, and as such cannot be changed, Richard pointed out that the constitution previously did not recognize women as persons – “[the Constitution] is not carved in stone,” he said,  “It can be changed.”

Read the article in the Ottawa Citizen here.

For more information, visit the One School System website, and Civil Rights in Public Education (CRIPE)

Bus Shelter Ad 2