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Queer Ontario’s submission to the “Government Education Survey” regarding, Ontario Sex Education Curriculum

December 14th, 2018 Comments off

This is an open submission to the Government Education Survey from Queer Ontario. We did not actually complete the survey itself but submitted our critique in the first document completed by Nick Mulé. Our Curriculum Response Letter prepared by Robert Teixeira is the second document attached. The third document is a Commentary on the Ontario Sex Education Curriculum from our Chair, Richard Hudler

Please find the three documents in the links below.

  1. Queer Ontario – ON Gov. Ed. Survey 2018 Critique
  2. QO Sex Ed Curriculum Response Letter 15 Dec 2018(SMV)

3. Chair Of QO Commentary:

December 15, 2018

Commentary on the Ontario Sex Education Curriculum

Although you have been instructed not to consult with us by the Campaign Life Coalition,1 for the sake of the best interests of Ontario’s children, we hope that you will listen to some of the things they may not want you to hear. Premier Ford has said “There’s no better teacher than the parents.2

Prior to retirement, this writer worked as a Social Worker including in child welfare agencies. The writer once interviewed a ten year old girl who was pregnant. She had no idea how she got in that condition. It was later ascertained that the father of her child was a family member. Premier Ford, especially when it comes to sex education, parents are not the best teachers. Family homes are very private places and many secrets are well kept behind those walls. It is no surprise that parents want their children to respect them and not challenge their authority, but when it comes to sexual issues, those children must know that they have a right to say “no” to adults, even parents. Social agencies can tell you that most child abuse, including sexual abuse, occurs in the home.
It is to the credit of the current provincial government that they are allowing the 2015 curriculum to stand when it comes to high school aged children. Younger children also need information to be able to protect themselves and to assure that they get this information, they need to learn it in schools. It must also be noted that bullying of gender non-conforming and children acknowledging their same sex attractions is rampant in grade schools. These children need to learn that there is room for them in our society.

No doubt those encouraging you not to listen to us do not fit the description of families above and provide adequate sex education to their children. However, by opposing comprehensive sex education in the schools, they are enabling those who would exploit the sexual ignorance of children within the general society and even in their own ranks.

If you are truly concerned about protecting children and not just anxious to get certain votes, please ensure that Ontario’s children receive comprehensive sex education throughout their school experience.

Thank you,
Richard Hudler
Chair

1 Fonseca, Jack. Campaign Life Coalition. LifeSiteews. July 11, 2018, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-ontario-ford-tories-to-repeal-wynne-sex-ed-by-september
2 Ford, Doug. CP24 Television, July 17, 2018.

 

 

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Statement from the No Pride In Policing Coalition on the Pride Toronto AGM

December 10th, 2018 Comments off

 No Pride in Policing Coalition Says,

“Pride Toronto No Longer Represents Us”

Soon after the start of the December 4th Pride Toronto Annual General Meeting (AGM), Pride Toronto abruptly and without a vote, shut down the meeting. When it became clear that the majority of the membership didn’t support the direction of the Pride Toronto board and staff during a pre-AGM discussion, rather than allowing motions from the floor to address police presence at Pride, the chair declared the meeting adjourned without explanation or vote.

Following adjournment, and after being told we had to leave by the chair, more than 50 Pride Toronto members held a brief meeting. This unofficial meeting of Pride Toronto members passed a motion stating, “There will be no organized or institutional police presence in Pride.” Forty members, a clear majority of the members present at the meeting, voted in favour of this motion.

The AGM came just weeks after Pride Toronto invited the Toronto Police Service back into Pride without consulting members. Pride Toronto’s invitation directly contravenes two consecutive AGM membership votes which were overwhelmingly in favour of excluding police presence in Pride. These motions recognized the decades of violence LGBTQ, Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPoC) have experienced from the police.

Pride Toronto allowed for a 40 minute “open discussion on police presence in Pride” before the AGM officially started. This so-called ‘discussion’ had no decision-making powers and was a superficial stand-in for real impactful political discussion. Pride Toronto addressed the questions posed by members through avoidance, refusal and a deceitful game of semantics about police presence. Pride Toronto never spoke to the central issue: Why has Pride Toronto made the undemocratic decision to invite the police back into Pride?

Pride Toronto’s shutting down of their AGM represents a powerful message to all queer communities, telling us that our interests and concerns are not at the heart of Pride Toronto as it currently exists. Rather than take direction from its own members, Pride Toronto chose to shut down the membership, instead prioritizing its relations with the state and the police. This meeting represented a clear failure of Pride Toronto to be accountable to their membership and the broader LGBTQ, Queer and Trans BIPoC communities and as such does not represent or speak for them. The No Pride in Policing Coalition has declared this process undemocratic and a betrayal of the LGBTQ, Queer and Trans BIPoC communities.

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Queer Ontario Statement on Pride Toronto Allowing Police to March in Uniform in 2019 Parade.

October 28th, 2018 Comments off

QO Statement on Pride Toronto and Allowing Police to March 2019

Queer Ontario Statement on Pride Toronto Allowing Police to March in Uniform in 2019 Parade.

Pride Toronto has released a statement and held a press conference announcing a shift in relations between the police and Pride Toronto via an on-going community conversation. This has perplexed many of us at Queer Ontario and leaves us with many questions:

  1. From our perspective, this decision goes against the wishes of Pride Toronto’s membership who voted on this issue in 2016 and 2017 and were not consulted regarding recent dialogues. Why was this decision made without the input of Pride Toronto’s membership and what authority did Pride Toronto have to make this decision without membership input and vote?
  2. Pride Toronto claims there have been changes in the Toronto Police without divulging any details. We note that Trans folks continue to be arrested and face the choice of being put in a mis-gendered jail or being put in solitary confinement (a cruel practice that endanger the mental wellbeing and lives of Trans folks); Police have not apologized for recent actions, such as park arrests of men (e.g., Project Marie), which continues today; No apology has been made for raids of bathhouses (just a mere regret), strip bars and sex clubs; Black, Indigenous and trans people of Color still face police harassment in their daily lives (e.g., carding); many LGBT folks have died due to the negligence of police such as the Bruce McArthur, and Alloura Wells cases and the recently started review was initiated by the community, not the police. What changes have Toronto Police made?
  3. Pride Toronto describes ongoing discussions with the police but offers no details. Neither Black Lives Matter, Toronto (BLMTO), who brought this conversation to the attention of LGBTQ communities and mainstream society, nor Queer Ontario were consulted or part of the discussions. Removing community-based groups whom contribute free labour to our communities and movements from these conversations erases the very voices that brought these issues to the fore (BLMTO) from the process and contributes to the anti-black racism that has been apparent in our communities. Whom are the ‘trusted community organizations’ that are part of these talks?
  4. Given the above and beyond discussions, we ask what does Pride Toronto think changed and what accountability measures are in place when Pride Toronto picks and chooses who it converses with, while ignoring the concerns of others, such as its own membership and community organizations
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