Recall, the Ontario provincial election in 2007 was basically a referendum on provincial tuition subsidy for non-public schools. The PCs led by John Tory, who led the effort of fair funding, took a shellacking. The community would never be able to so much as think to seek tuition assistance from the government ever again. If we have boatloads of cash to spend on new pricey community centres, how absurd it would look to put out our hand out to the province.
Is it not the responsibility of our fellow community members to be more accountable with this kind of money, and use it to help sustain existing infrastructures?
No shortage of synagogues, built a half-century ago, that are falling apart. Undoubtedly, Jewish life on campus, and pro-Israel programming, could use a financial boost – eg: Hillel, Hasbara, Stand With Us, etc.
To be fair, though, about a seventh of the monies for the new complex have come from the federal government. They designated $10.2-million from funds it matched from the New Building Canada Fund in 2016.
According to Liberal MP Michael Levitt (York Centre), who commented on behalf of the Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Amarjeet Sohi, the Canadian government, “recognizes that strategic investments in public infrastructure – including funding for sports and recreation projects like this one (emphasis ours) – will create growth for the middle class and ensure that our communities will remain among the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.”
“Sports and recreation”. Not anything Jewishy here. Not even an attempt to couch it as “multi-cultural enhancement”, or some-such hokum, euphemistically slipped in. Nope, the money was allocated because it was a really expensive playground. And that is, precisely, what it will become: a community centre built with Jewish donations, rather than a Jewish community centre.