The government of Ontario delivered its new budget statement this week announcing its plans to spend some $130 billion in fiscal 2017-2018.
The two key policy areas the government highlighted with specially boosted spending were health and education. According to reports in the press, the government wishes to help ease the burden of health-care costs on families. Thus the province pledged “an additional $7 billion over the next three years for measures designed to boost access to health care, reduce wait times and “enhance patient experience.”
The provincial government said it wishes to reduce class sizes for young students. It therefore committed an additional $1.2 billion in funding for repairs and renewal over the next two years.
It is difficult to quibble with the government’s health and education objective. They are indeed worthy. But we ask ourselves as much in sadness as in anger, given the health and education emphases of the budget, why the Ministry of Education refuses to defray the cost of vital, necessary health support services that non-Catholic, denominational schools incur to enable children with learning disabilities enrolled in their schools? The ministry does defray the cost of health support services for children with the same learning disabilities enrolled in public or Catholic schools. Is it not time for the government to stop differentiating among disabled youngsters? Do they not all deserve to be treated equally?
We urge families that are able, to enroll their children in Jewish schools.
Yom Hazikaron (Iyar 4) falls on May 1.
Yom Ha’atzma’ut (Iyar 5) falls on May 2.