Ontario’s education minister balks at holding open consultation with parents on new sex-ed program
TORONTO, February 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Pro-family groups have rejected the recent claim by Ontario’s education minister, Liz Sandals, that her Liberal government was unable to consult parents on a controversial sex-ed program, scheduled to be implemented in the province’s schools this fall.
“There’s no way that I can talk to two million parents,” Sandals said in a February 2 interview with Metroland Media Group.
Sandals instead defended her government’s November online survey of 4,000 parents, one per each Ontario school. “What we wanted to do was ensure that we had feedback that was a good sample.”
But such claims “won’t hold water in an information age,” points out Teresa Pierre, president of the Ontario parents-rights group, Parents As First Educators (PAFE). The government is fully capable of getting input from all Ontarians. More importantly, notes Pierre, “the input needs to be on the curriculum itself and not on almost meaningless general statements about teaching sex-ed.”
Echoing Pierre’s critique is Jack Fonseca, project manager for Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group. “Liz Sandals doesn’t give a darn what Ontario moms and dads think,” he told LifeSiteNews. “That’s why there wasn’t a single specific question in the Liberal government’s bogus survey, and why the survey instructed parents not to discuss it with others.”
Gwen Landolt, vice president of national pro-family group REAL Women, dismissed Sandals’ remarks as “absurd” and “facetious.” The education minister seems to be “making excuses for her failure to consult parents,” Landolt told LifeSiteNews, adding that such a failure is “scandalous. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship?”
Sandals also defended the government’s intention to include “informed consent” in the curriculum, but pro-family groups are raising alarms over the legality of teaching underage children about consenting to sexual relations.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced on January 26 that “informed consent” will be added to the curriculum, evidently inspired by a petition initiated by two 13-year-old girls. The curriculum allegedly will introduce the issue of consent as early as Grade 1, through teaching children about listening and body language.
“We need to make sure the informed consent piece of healthy relationships is absolutely crystal clear to both boys and girls,” Sandals said in the February 2 interview.
But Landolt points out that “aiding and abetting” in a criminal act is itself an offense under Canada’s Criminal Code. The legal age of consent in Ontario is 16, and instructing children about consenting to sexual activity “presupposes sexual relations,” she said. This could put teachers in the position of aiding and abetting minors in consenting to sexual activity.
“It’s deeply disturbing to hear the government is planning to teach children how to ‘say YES to sex’ as early as Grade 1,” noted CLC’s Fonseca. “Parents had better start waking up to what seems to be a program that will sexualize their kids and plant the idea in their heads that they have ‘sexual rights’.”