Top Ontario education official and premier’s appointee charged with making child porn
TORONTO, July 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A top-ranking education official and appointee of Premier Kathleen Wynne has been charged with making and distributing child pornography.
Dr. Benjamin Levin, 61, served as Ontario’s deputy minister of education from 2004 to 2009 and worked under Wynne, Ontario's first openly homosexual premier, while she developed the controversial “inclusive education” strategy and a radical new sex ed program.
Since leaving the Ministry of Education, Levin has acted as Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He has also served as an education consultant to the Ontario government, including as an expert on “equity.” In January 2013, he was named to Wynne’s transition team after she became Premier.
Levin is a Winnipeg native, and served as deputy minister of education in Manitoba from 1999 to 2002.
Pro-family advocates are saying that the news, while shocking, is not wholly unexpected given that education officials have been sexualizing children for years with increasingly radical early sex-ed programs.
"Parents have been wondering why the Ministry of Education is engaged in the sexualizing of their children,” said Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators (PAFE). “From sex education curriculum changes and explicit classroom materials seen in a Toronto grade school classroom recently, staff at the ministry and in schools have been showing very bad judgement for years."
Pierre said the scandal lies at Wynne’s feet. “Unfortunately this comes as yet another sign that Wynne’s education ministry hasn’t shown the best judgment about children and education,” she said.
The province's sex-ed program developed, and temporarily shelved by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty, while Levin served in Ontario’s Ministry of Education would have seen children taught about “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in grade 3 and anal sex in grade 7.
Jack Fonseca, project manager at Campaign Life Coalition, agreed with Pierre, calling the revelations about Levin a “bombshell development” that ought to provoke a closer look at Wynne’s sexual agenda.
“It would not be unreasonable to question Premier Wynne as to whether Levin was a consultant to her on these sex-ed related curriculum changes,” he said.
“I think parents ought to make this an election issue and demand answers on how much involvement, if any, Levin had in the McGuinty-Wynne EIE policy and sex-ed curriculum development,” he continued. “I also hope this will renew calls by parents to repeal the sexual agenda-driven Bill 13.”
“They say you can know a person by the company they keep. Voters take note,” he added.
Brian Rushfeldt, president of Canada Family Action, said they have warned for years that advocating risky sexual behaviors, along with light sentences for the sexual exploitation of children, “is likely to lead to more abuse of children.”
“Is Wynne still planning on forcing radical sex education into Ontario’s curriculum? Maybe she needs to rethink that,” he said.
The scandal has also prompted questions about Wynne’s judgment from the opposition benches. New Democrat leader Andrea Horwath said this is just the most recent of a string of scandals.
“I do know that the government has, many, many times now, shown that they lack good judgement on many files,” she said, according to Blackburn News. “Whether it’s using tax dollars to secure their own success in a general election, and I’m talking about the gas plants moving, of course, or whether it’s the eHealth scandal.”
Levin was arrested around 6:00 a.m. at his Toronto home after an online investigation involving police in New Zealand and London, Ontario.
A release from the Toronto Police Service says Levin is charged with making child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography, counselling to commit an indictable offence and agreeing or arranging a sexual offence against a child under 16.
He was in court Monday afternoon and has been remanded into custody until a bail hearing on July 10.
Levin intends to fight the charges, according to his lawyer, Gerald Chan. “What we’re going to argue to the court is that this is not someone for whom bail should be denied,” Chan told the Globe and Mail. “He’s in no danger of leaving the jurisdiction, he is in no danger of committing an offence.”
Detective Constable Janelle Blackadar told the Globe and Mail that Levin first became a suspect of the Toronto Police Service in mid-2012.
She said they were contacted by New Zealand authorities last month, which led her to conduct a database search, when she discovered that he was also being investigated by police in London, Ontario.
New Zealand official Steve O’Brien, of the country’s Department of Internal Affairs' Censorship Compliance Unit, said that one of their investigators was chatting with Levin online for months and he alerted Canadian authorities after “he became concerned at the direction the conversation was taking.”
Premier Wynne’s office, the Ministry of Education, and the University of Toronto have declined to comment on the charges.
In a statement on Monday, Education Minister Liz Sandals tried to distance her department from the scandal. She said that Levin has been suspended from all government duties, and noted that his most recent roles were merely contract-based research projects and guest speaking. She has refused to comment further.
Premier Kathleen Wynne
E-mail: Use this form.
Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader
Email: [email protected]