Title: Letter of 30 March 1896 from Clifford Sifton and J. D. Cameron to Arthur R. Dickey, Alphonse Desjardines, and Donald A. Smith
Author: Sifton, Clifford, Sir, 1861-1929
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG14 B41, Clifford Sifton - Affidavits, etc. re: Manitoba School Question
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public schools. There seems to be no precedent even in
Seperate School Legislation, for such a provision.
(3) In many cases it would be impossible to
provide a separate building, and the Roman Catholic children
would therefore be assigned a room in the public school
It seems beyond dispute that nothing could be worse than the
separation of children into two distinct bodies within daily
view of each other.
(4) The financial objection would be serious
A voluntary separate school system such as exists in Ontario,
or such as we had in Manitoba prior to 1890 could only be
put into operation where the Roman Catholic rates added to
the Legislative Grant would be sufficient to maintain the
school, but under the plan proposed this idea is not recogniz-
ed. If the number of Roman Catholic children are to be
found a school must be provided and maintained. By whom?
By the public school trustees. The rates paid by the Roman
Catholic tax payers might be only one-tenth of the cost of
the school, yet the rest of the district must maintain it.
As a matter of fact in a great majority of cases in cities,
towns and villages in Manitoba, the contributions of the Roman
Catholic ratepayers would only be a fraction of the cost of
maintainng the school. As a result the bulk of the expense
would require to met out of the taxes paid by non-Catholic
ratepayers, and the school would therefore be an additional
and unnecessary charge upon the school revenues, already in
every case heavily burdened. It would be hard to conceive
of a more indefensible and offensive method of compelling
one portion of the people to pay for the education and sec-
tarian religious training of the remainder, and to maintain
a separate denominational school, to the principle of which

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