On June 7, at least 5,500 protesters took part in a protest at Queen’s Park to demonstrate against the Ontario government’s sex-ed program. Many then took part in a march through downtown Toronto calling upon Premier Kathleen Wynne to withdraw the new curriculum and for the premier to resign.
The protest was organized by the Canadian Families Alliance, an umbrella organization representing more than ten parent groups, six cultural associations, and 200,000 concerned citizens. LifeSiteNews reported that there were more than 65 buses that brought protesters from the Greater Toronto Area,
The multicultural crowd of Muslims, Sikhs, Chinese, Filipino, Russian, Catholic and Evangelical parents, chanted “No more Liberals! No more Liberals!” and “Resign! Resign!”
Lou Iacobelli, a retired teacher and member of the CFA, spoke and vowed that parents would pull their children out of public schools if the curriculum takes effect in September as Wynne threatens. “Parents just don’t want it.”
Iacobelli also said, “let’s call it what it is — it’s indoctrination,” of Wynne’s plan to teach oral and anal sex and the theory of gender fluidity to elementary school students.
The CFA’s Maggie Amin said the curriculum will confuse children and divide families by teaching morality at odds with the religious and cultural values of the parents. “Our children will be taught to challenge their parents,” Amin warned. She also said that the federal Liberals would not receive votes because “our children and their safety is a federal issue” too, and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have not spoken up against the sex-ed curriculum. Several Conservative MPs such as Larry Miller (Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound), Parm Gill (Brampton-Springdale), and Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke) have criticized the Ontario curriculum.
John Himanen, a father of three elementary-school aged children in York Region District School Board, said he has never been involved in political issues but had to over the sex-ed program, “I am now because of my children.” Former Toronto Public School Board trustee Sam Sotiropoulos and a CFA member vowed his organization would keep up the fight. “Our fight will continue for three years, we will not forget and we will not forgive.”
Khalid Mahmood of the Thorncliffe Parents Association from Wynne’s own riding said the school boycott from May 1-5 saw a 90 per cent absentee rate as parents kept their children out of school to protest sex-ed.
Progressive Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) urged parents to keep up the fight, as he brought greetings from party leader Patrick Brown.
On June 5, about 100 people took part in an anti-sex ed protest in front of Parliament Hill. McNaughton addressed that crowd, also. Accompanied by his colleague Bob Bailey (Sarnia-Lambton) he condemned the Wynne government for its insufficient consulting with parents saying that one hand-picked representative per school was not representative of the concerned parents.
He said that parents are first educators and “it is not the Liberal government’s job to tell parents what is age appropriate for their kids.” He said that beginning sex education at six years of age and dictating the moral values of children was wrong. He urged the crowd to contact every MPP to express their concerns with the curriculum.
McNaughton said the reason the government was spending $1.8 million to sell the Wynne sex-ed program to Ontarians was because of mounting opposition to the new curriculum.
While Ministry of Education spokesman Nilani Nogeswaran claimed that it is a mere “public awareness” campaign to inform Ontarians of the new physical education and health curriculum, Education Minister Liz Sandals told the Toronto Sun the campaign seeks to counter “misinformation” about the curriculum.
On June 2, McNaughton introduced a petition 185,000 “parents and grandparents” expressing mounting opposition to the government’s sex-ed program.
Protests have also been held in London, Windsor, Kitchener, and various communities throughout the GTA.