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TORONTO, April 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The federal Liberals are falling in the polls for many reasons of their own making, say pollsters and pundits, but one that may hurt them most in the run-up to the looming election they can blame on Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne: her controversial sex education curriculum.
So announced Toronto Globe and Mail columnist Laurence Martin in his Tuesday column, citing an anonymous federal Grit insider. “A top strategist told me,” Martin reported, that “the biggest drag” is “the Ontario Liberal government’s early age sexual education policy.” And the insider says: “I’m not kidding. It’s hurting the brand badly in certain ethnic communities, especially in the west 905.”
“The 905” is political shorthand for densely populated and growing residential communities around Toronto that share the 905 telephone area code. Their swing to the Conservatives is credited with the first Tory majority, in 2011, since Brian Mulroney.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been frequenting the 905 communities such as Mississauga, Whitby, and Brampton to announce national programs deemed to have particular traction with young families: tax cuts such as the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, and income splitting for parents of under-18 children.
The 905 vote is one of two key components in the coalition that got Harper elected in 2011, the other being Western Canada, Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs told the Ottawa Citizen late last year. And it will be even more important in the next election, he added. “With the redistribution of seats, it has become even more…where the centre of his winning coalition is that doughnut of seats around the city of Toronto. And if Harper can’t win there, he can’t win.”
Along with family-friendly issues, the Tories see the area as winnable with a focus on the economy, law and order, and small government. Now Martin’s “strategist” is saying the federal Tories have been given a freebie by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s provincial Liberals. In starting off her term with the unpopular sex-ed program, which condones homosexuality, pre-marital sex and blurred gender distinctions, she gave herself four years to persuade the voters to forget it before facing them again.
But she accidentally timed things perfectly to do maximum damage to the federal Liberals through guilt by association. Wynne admitted as much to the Toronto Star earlier this month, blaming federal Tory agents provocateurs for inciting several spirited rallies against her sex-ed program for political advantage.
She grimly predicted the Tories would link federal and provincial Liberals in the crucial western 905 ridings where the sex-ed program is particularly unpopular with immigrant voters. “I think it will be a ground campaign, and I think it will be an attempt to paint all Liberals with somehow . . . this very negative patina, and I just think it’s despicable. We need to call them out on it.”
Since last Fall the Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, have seen their share of popular support fall from 36 percent to about 31 percent, according to the poll aggregation provided by threehundredeight.com: or neck and neck with the Tories in Canada overall, and in Ontario. But that vote split, given the current distribution of seats, would still give the Tories a minority win with 144 seats to 117 for the Liberals.
Find a full listing of LifeSiteNews' coverage of the Ontario government's explicit sex-ed program here.