Another Conservative MP has spoken out against Ontario's new sexual education curriculum and attempted to link the policy to federal Liberals, this time through a taxpayer-funded mailout.
Brampton–Springdale MP Parm Gill sent a letter to his constituents seeking "feedback" about the curriculum, which he disparaged as "graphic and explicit." However education policy is set by the provinces, meaning Gill and the federal government have no jurisdiction over the curriculum. A photo of the letter was posted to social media this week.
At no point in the mailout does Gill draw a distinction between Kathleen Wynne's Ontario Liberals, who are updating how sex ed is taught in the province for the first time in 17 years, and the federal Liberals who have nothing to do with the policy.
Gill states in the letter that many constituents have contacted him to voice opposition to the curriculum change and that, as a father of three, he shares those concerns.
"This attack on parents' right as first educators builds on the Liberal agenda of attacking our family values," he writes.
Gill then shifts to discussing decisions made by federal Grits.
"Most parents are also concerned about Liberal policy to legalize marijuana making it accessible to our children," he writes. "The Liberals also voted against our legislation to keep prostitution illegal and out of our neighbourhoods.
"I am also aware that most Canadians were not happy that the Liberals voted against raising the age of consent from 14 to 16."
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau maintains that legalizing and regulating pot will actually do more to keep it out of the hands of kids. Liberals voted against Bill C-36, the Tories' anti-prostitution legislation.
Canada's age of consent was increased from 14 to 16 as part of an omnibus crime bill that passed the House of Commons in 2007, before Trudeau was even elected as an MP. Liberals voted for the bill, but walked out of a later confidence vote in February, 2008, that sought to force the Senate to pass the legislation quicker.
The mailout also includes a questionnaire asking whether or not constituents support the Ontario sex ed curriculum, believe some aspects are unsuitable for children, and are satisfied with the job Gill's doing as MP.
Gill's letter comes a month after Tory MP Cheryl Gallant rose in the House of Commons to "demand" Trudeau "order" Wynne to scrap the curriculum.
Gallant claimed the policy was written by Benjamin Levin, a former deputy minister of education who has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.
"If withdrawal of this Liberal policy can prevent one child from being groomed for exploitation, it really must be withdrawn," she said.
Ontario Liberals deny Levin, who was on Wynne's transition team when she took office, had anything to do with developing the curriculum. Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals called the MP's rant "outrageous" and "disgusting."
Gallant, a longtime MP for the riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, actually has a lengthy history of bashing provincial Liberals in the House.
Under the changes to Ontario's sex ed curriculum, Grade 1 students will — like in the past — learn the proper names for body parts, including genitalia.
Grade 3 students will learn about same-sex relationships, kids in Grades 4 and up will learn more about the dangers of online bullying, while lessons on the dangers of sexting will come in Grade 7.
Lessons on puberty will move from Grade 5 to Grade 4, while masturbation and "gender expression" are mentioned in the Grade 6 curriculum.
On Tuesday, thousands protested the new curriculum outside of Queen's Park.
Sandals has accused Conservative groups of pushing opposition to the changes. Wynne, Canada's first openly gay premier, has also said some of the protesters are motivated by homophobia.
With files from The Canadian Press
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In Grade 1, students should be able to identify body parts, including genitalia like the penis, testicles, vagina, vulva, and use correct terminology.
By Grade 2, students will outline the basic stages of human development, including an infant, child, adolescent, adult, older adult, for example, and related bodily changes. They will also identify factors that are important for healthy growth.
In Grade 3, students will be able to describe how visible differences (like facial features, body size and shape, physical aids or different physical abilities. for example) and invisible differences (like learning abilities, personal or cultural values and beliefs, gender identity, sexual orientation, for example), make each person unique. Students will also learn ways of showing respect for differences in others.
In Grade 4, students will describe the physical changes that happen during puberty for males and females — the growth of body hair, breast development, changes in voice and body size, production of body odour, and skin changes, for example. They will also learn about the potential emotional and social impact of these changes.
In Grade 5, students will identify the parts of the reproductive system, and describe how the human body changes during puberty. They will expand their vocabulary with words like cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, endometrium, and clitoris, as well as scrotum, urethra, testicles, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens.
Students in the sixth grade will assess the effects of stereotypes — including homophobia and assumptions regarding gender roles and expectations, sexual orientation, gender expression, race, ethnicity or culture, mental health, and abilities, among others. They will also propose appropriate ways of responding to and changing some of these stereotypes.
In Grade 7, students will touch on consent and the importance of having a shared understanding with a partner about delaying sexual activity, for example. They will go over genital contact, vaginal or anal intercourse and oral sex (including choosing to abstain from these activities). They will also go over reasons for not engaging in sexual activity and the concept of how consent can be communicated in a relationship. Grade 7 students will also touch on the understanding of physical, emotional, social, and psychological factors that need to be considered when making decisions related to sexual health, including STIs, pregnancy, desire, pleasure, gender identity among others. Students will also delve into areas of cyber-bullying, harassment and behaviours like sexting.
In Grade 8, students learn about all six genders including male, female, two-spirited, transgender, transsexual and intersex. They also cover topics of sexual orientation (heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual). When it comes to sex, students will learn about contraception and condom use for pregnancy, STI prevention, consent, and what it means to be in a healthy sexual relationship. For further development, Grade 8 students will also touch on the benefits or attractions of being in a relationship, along with drawbacks and risks like breaking up.
In Grade 9, students will be able to describe how to prevent unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS. A further understanding of gender identities and issues around stigma, culture, religion, media, stereotypes, homophobia, self-image, and others.
Students should be able to describe factors that influence sexual decision making, including personal values, having limits, peer and family expectations, and myths and norms related to sexual activity or safe sex. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to use decision-making and communication skills effectively to support choices related to sexual health. Discussions on misconceptions about sexuality in our culture, as well as what it means to be in a exclusive relationship.
Understanding a variety of mental illnesses and addictions including: eating disorders; major depression; anxiety disorders; psychotic disorders, and tobacco, alcohol, drug, gambling, gaming, or Internet addictions. Students in Grade 11 will cover proactive health measures like breast and testicular examinations, Pap tests, regular medical check-ups, stress management techniques, among others.
In addition to cyber-bulling, students in Grade 12 will also cover stalking, sexual assault, abuse within a family, extortion, and workplace harassment, for example. Further discussion on healthy relationships, developing healthy sexual relationships with others, and looking at relationships and stereotypes in the media.