Can you guess who said the following- addressing Dalton McGuinty, no less- during the 2007 Ontario provincial election?
"It's not fair -- it's offensive -- to link our day school system and [other] faith-based schools with segregation. It's fear mongering. It's time for him to step up to the plate and to retract this."
John Tory, perhaps? In a parallel universe where we might have won that election, yes, but that quote belongs to the Liberals new "star candidate", Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber.
Yes, that Bernie Farber. The High Priest of Official Jewry. The one Ezra has been railing against for years. The one who is good buddies with Capital H-I-M.
Running. In Thornhill. Heavily Jewish Thornhill. Heavily Conservative Thornhill. For the Liberals. The same Liberals who rained on the faith based schools parade. A parade that Farber himself led four years ago.
Oh, but it isn't just simple hypocrisy this time. No. Getting Farber to run is a direct challenge to us. Because Bernie Farber- and I don't imagine that I am saying anything very new or controversial here, or anything Farber himself would disagree with- is on the very short list of people that make Dalton look positively libertarian.
Dalton is clearly rubbing our noses in it. He's going to plunk this guy into one of the two ridings we won last time and say, "I think I can win this one back. What do you think about that?"
And all so that when the Liberal campaign issues the inevitable press release asking why the PC Party is "soft on hate"- and you know that one is in the pipeline- Bernie Farber can give it the thumbs-up.
Of course, this is all connected to that other issue nobody wants to talk about. Those Tribunals. (Hey, that's another issue Farber is known for going to the wall to defend.) And what do we want to do with those Tribunals? Well, last I checked, we want to do reasonable things like allowing them to dismiss the kind of frivolous complaints Ezra has documented in his book, or by reforming their rules of evidence to make them more consistent with rules of law.
But even these preliminary steps will be too much for Farber to handle, won't they? If we were to so much as change the colour of the tablecloths in the Tribunal lunchrooms, Farber would decry it as "an attack on human rights."
So either way, we go to war over the appropriateness of speech this fall. If Farber and McGuinty win, the Ontario government will continue trying to legislate hurt feelings and rude behaviour out of existence. I know which side I'm on.
By the way....has anyone asked Farber whether his views on whether the government should fund private religious schools have changed? No? Well then, how about we ask this question at every single media event from now until E-day.....
What is Dalton McGuinty's secret, hidden, faith-based agenda to fund faith-based schools that are faith-based?