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Quotas were eventually banned for being racist. Yet today, under the banner of “anti-racism”, they are championed.

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Bill 67 contains about 6 pages of required changes to the Education Act of Ontario, to bring about its vision of “equity”. (Photo: Unsplash)

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Talk about flying under the radar or being hidden while in full view: The Ontario legislature recently passed Bill 67, The Racial Equity in the Education System Act, establishing into law, the teaching of critical race theory in Ontario from kindergarten to post-secondary studies. Who knew?

If other residents of this province are like me on this file, we’ve been so distracted, so punch-drunk with Covid and lockdowns, followed by the Freedom Convoy and the Trudeau Emergency Act, the news of which immediately morphed into Russia’s devastating attack on Ukraine, that we- if not just me- never knew that this bill had been introduced, let alone that it passed second reading. And not just passed, it was the equivalent of a legislative tsunami, with only one dissenting vote, belonging to MPP Belinda Karahalios of the New Blue Party.

Years ago, a standing joke amongst teachers was that Ontario would adopt the latest fad two or three years after the U.S was getting rid of it and moving on to the next trend. This seems to be the case now: on the same day that I stumbled across Bill 67 and Ontario’s venture into the brave new world, an article said that Mississippi had just prohibited CRT in its public-school system. Another four states have similarly turfed it, while others are in discussion. But it won’t go quietly, and its adherents are likely digging in.

If you aren’t yet up to speed on CRT, it liberally uses the words that are by now embedded, mantra-like, into our consciousness: diversity, inclusion and equity – equity as in racial equity, on which a great deal of CRT hinges. Sounds like a good thing, equity, doesn’t it? Sort of like equality? Who would not be in favour of equality? So it follows, who would not be in favour of equity, which must mean pretty much the same thing, right?

Not right at all.

There’s a quantum leap in meaning to get from one to the other. Equality means that we all have the same rights, the same freedoms, the same opportunities. If, as you read this, you’re going to go on the attack, arguing that we do not all have the same equality, stop right there. I agree. Of course, we don’t. It’s an ideal that is supposed to be enshrined into government law and our institutions. But clearly, society is not a level playing field.

Poor kids growing up in a low rent urban environment do not have the advantages of rich kids going to preppy schools. In court, most of us can’t afford the fanciest lawyers as can, well, say Justin Trudeau.

But poor children can and do go on to receive fine educations and if we appear in court, we have the same legal rights as the rich. There is still elasticity in society. Those towards the lower end can rise, and education can help them get there. And sometimes, the rich are brought low. So, yes, equality is not perfect, but it sets a practical and moral structure for society and an ideal to strive towards.

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So, then what is equity?

If equality is front loaded, then equity is back loaded. If equality of opportunity is to provide a level playing field, then equity is to provide level outcomes. For example, Justin Trudeau set about to rectify the small number of women in cabinet by appointing positions, at least in part, based on sex/gender. (although eventually, it sort of backfired on him, but that’s another story). Extend that concept to school, business admissions, corporate boards and so on, and extend sex/gender to race/ethnicity, and you have equity.

Different websites provide somewhat different figures, but one gave the following information: Toronto’s population contains 50% White, 25% Asian, 8% Black. 

Therefore, for every hundred applicants, there should be 50 Whites, 25 Asians, and 8 Blacks. If actual admissions to an institution are skewed, then the system is racist, and CRT will set about to change those outcomes. There are several mechanisms to do so, usually involving a quota system.

Ironically, there was a time when there were quotas, which eventually were banned for being racist. Yet today, under the banner of anti-racism, they are being championed. The irony is stunning.

Podcast host Dr Jordan Peterson stated: “Bill 67, which purports to be nothing but an “anti-racist” bill, is in fact the most pernicious and dangerous piece of legislation that any Canadian government has attempted to put forward. This bill makes C-16 look like child’s play. ” In this podcast, Dr. Peterson is joined by columnist Barbara Kay, law professor Bruce Pardy, and Dr. David M. Haskell. (Image: YouTube)

What gets shuffled to the side in an equity-based system is merit.

The idea that those who demonstrably prove they are the most capable will or should be admitted, or get the position, or whatever. The west is sometimes described as a meritocratic democracy: definition – based on ability and talent rather than on class, privilege or wealth.

As is the case with equality, a merit-based system is not flawless; there exists cronyism, for example, as in “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” All true, but merit does function well, and despite any lack of perfection, favoritism is not baked into law: we do not have laws establishing quotas on the basis of patronage.

Admission figures generally are skewed for many reasons, but CRT will only allow one: systemic racism. Systemic racism insists, not just that there are racists in any system, to which most people would likely agree, but that the entire system is racist, that racism is part of the DNA of every system in Canada, from the police to the government to education, and that it must be exorcized.

I don’t know how systemic racism is compatible with electing a Black chief of police in Toronto or a Black head of the Toronto Board of Education, unless they are mere “tokens.”

Since all our current systems were founded and built by White Europeans, then the first principle enshrined in CRT is that systemic racism is caused by Whites, who are irredeemably racist. Take that on faith: to be born White is to be racist, because Whites are the oppressors. Therefore, as my old philosophy 101 course taught, a priori, to be born anything else is not to be racist, because anything else is oppressed, and oppressed people cannot be racist (principal 2).

Never mind that the education system and so many of its teachers are not white anyway, Bill 67 doesn’t seem to take that into account. (It would be good to have demographic figures for Ontario teachers, but I wasn’t able to find them during a brief Internet search.)

So, regardless of any possible inconvenient facts, Bill 67 contains about 6 pages of required changes to the Education Act of Ontario, to bring about its vision of equity – an equitable system free of racism. If ever passed into law, it will profoundly affect education in Ontario and the students we trust to its care.

One doesn’t have to be a parent of school-aged kids to be concerned about what such a complete overhaul might look like, as per Bill 67.

Anthony Dayton is former Ontario public schools and Seneca College educator, who developed several writing and English courses for TVO. He has been a features writer for ten years at The Mainstreet Unionville News, a blogger for a major syndicated news service and for a private media Company, and is a product and event photographer.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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