Back in June of 2017, http://www.freedom-of-expression.ca began to follow the work of Dr. Richard Thain, a retired dentist who began to publicly advertise his objections to the public funding of Catholic schools in Ontario.
The original plan was to produce several ads to be displayed during the launch of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg (September 2014). That initial bid to speak out regarding a matter of systemic faithism faced barriers that prevented the intended impact.
Recently however, Dr. Thain has continued his fight to generate public dialogue on the matter of public funding for Catholic schools in Ontario. Dr. Thain has launched a follow-up campaign in Ontario. The new ad campaign appears on digital billboards in the Greater Toronto Area.
Dr. Richard Thain’s 2018 campaign to stop public funding of religious education.
The website mentioned in Dr. Thain’s ad campaign (www.CRIPEweb.org or https://open.cripeweb.org) leads to the website of Civil Rights in Public Education, an activist organization which opposes public funding of religious schools.
Thain’s two-week, Toronto ad campaign on billboards around the city that will run until April 1, 2018. The message: “Stop publicly funding religious education.” His goal is to bring attention to a crowdfunding effort by One Public Education Now (OPEN) for their Charter challenge. Plaintiffs are in place – a teacher and a parent – who have been discriminated against on the basis of religion.
“Politicians can ignore letters from constituents who support eliminating the government’s discriminatory policies. It is harder for them to ignore a lawsuit” explains Reva Landau, founder of OPEN. The well-established Toronto law firm Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP has been retained by OPEN.
Thain emphasizes, “Other provinces have eliminated anachronistic education policies and the time is long overdo for Ontario to do the same. The present funding system in Ontario is an international embarrassment, a financial disaster and a moral disgrace.”