Hudak delivers an electoral gift to McGuinty in the form of controversial flyer
Tim Hudak gave the Liberal and NDP campaigns some free advertising yesterday, when he defended a campaign flyer that deploys scare tactics and outright falsehoods about the Liberals’ scrapped plans for sex education. The flyer, which was distributed around the GTA, contains several scary claims about what the Liberals want to teach Ontario kids, including (gasp!) how to cross-dress. The alleged source material for the flyer? A TDSB document titled “Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum Resource Guide.”
The Globe and Mail reports:
The flyers have been distributed around the Greater Toronto Area and use a series of quotes from news articles in an effort to suggest they relate to controversial portions of the Liberals’ earlier plan to revamp the Ontario education curriculum by introducing the topic of same-sex marriage to Grade 3 students and a mention of anal intercourse in Grade 7.
Mr. McGuinty shelved the new curriculum last April after a Christian group led by evangelist Charles McVety expressed outrage. The sex-ed curriculum being taught in schools is the one that has been in place since 1998, when the previous Tory government introduced it, and remains unchanged, the Liberals said in a statement on Monday.
The Tories are quoting from a Toronto District School Board curriculum guideline that says, “Sending a school newsletter home at the beginning of each term is a best practice for keeping parents informed of all upcoming equity topics in the classroom.”
The Globe and the Toronto Standard have pointed out various inaccuracies in the claims made on the flyer. For instance, although the flyer references kissing booths, the kissing booth described in the resource guide involves Hershey’s Kisses, not the real kind. The flyer also cites a reference to cross-dressing in the curriculum that doesn’t actually appear to exist. (We could go on.) While theatrics and rhetoric like this might be expected during the final stages of a campaign, it doesn’t make them any less disappointing. After all, with Ontario Catholic schools’ continued resistance to gay student organizations, this could have been a campaign in which candidates talked about inclusion in schools, not who’s doing what in the kissing booth.
• Hudak defends Ontario campaign flyer described as homophobic [Globe and Mail]
• Hudak defends controversial Tory flyer [Toronto Star]
• Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum Resource Guide [TDSB]
• Election Blog: Fact-checking Hudak’s “Homophobic” Flyer [Toronto Standard]