The following story appeared in the Markham, Ontario Weekender of December 223, 1990.

Starting in Grade 7, Catholic students in York Region are taught about condoms and foam.

“The promotion of condoms and foam as a birth control method and as prevention to HIV infection was addressed at last week’s education committee meeting of the York Region Catholic Separate School Board.

“Divisional Superintendent of Programs John MacRae, presented trustees with a motion that the board formally endorse the conception barrier and infection prevention for students engaged in sexual activity, although teachers have included it in family life programs for the past year.

“It was the concern about AIDS that brought on the whole notion of honesty,” MacRae said.  The lethal disease that can be sexually transmitted ‘tipped the balance’ and changed the content of family life lessons in separate York Region schools.

“MacRae said some board staff were concerned that the board would not approve of including birth control advice in the curriculum, given the Catholic tradition that sexual activity take place only in a married relationship.

“In our teaching we affirm the wisdom of out tradition… (but) some young people do decide to engage in sexual activity before they marry.

“It is imperative that they must not take a chance on pregnancy or, even more clearly, on dying.’ MacRae said in a report to the education committee.

“The issue will be addressed at the next month’s education committee meeting.”


The proposal by Superintendent John MacRae, a member of the Committee of Concerned Canadian Catholics (CCCC), was narrowly defeated in the January Education Committee meeting.  An unnamed source told The Interim that the threat of public censure from Auxilliary Bishop Robert Clune was the deciding factor in the defeat of the motion.

More details in the April issue of The Interim.