Delegates to the Policy Convention of the Ontario New Democratic Party held in early March in Toronto ratified a policy resolution calling on the government to create joint committees which would ensure co-operation between the separate (Roman Catholic) and public school boards.

But some delegates brought forward other, much more ominous resolutions, all of which were shelved at this meeting.

For example, the youth wing of the NDP called for an amendment “to delete the portions of the Constitution Act of 1987 dealing with separate schools constitutional amendment” and for an end to public funding.  OND Youth referred to the “basic tenet” that the state should not prefer one religion over another and to the case of schools in one separate board “using funds to attack the rights of women to safe abortions.”


Ontario is appealing to the federal government to give lesbian and ‘gay’ employees the same pension rights as heterosexuals.

On March 11, Phyllis Clark, provincial director of compensation policy said that Government Services Minister Frances Lankin will be sending a letter to Treasury Board president Gilles Loiselle objecting to Ottawa’s refusal to extend pension benefits to same-sex ‘spouses’.

“We’re appealing to their sense of fairness,” said Miss Clark.

Michael Leshner, a ‘gay’ lawyer who works for Attorney-General Howard Hampton, contended that Ontario has a “legal, moral and ethical obligation” to take Ottawa to court to get equal treatment for employees under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Sexist ads

The Ontario government has criticized beer and liquor ads which rely too much on shapely women to sell their products.

Media watch, a group dedicated to fighting female exploitation and stereotyping in the media, has filed complaints.

Jennifer Ellis, a spokeswoman for the group, argues that the aggressive dalliance in beer and liquor ads has nothing to do with a healthy sexuality.

It divides women into parts, and puts them in the ads only to beautify the scenery.  “That is not a portrayal that is healthy for women,” she said.

The Canadian Advertising Foundation objects to the government’s deferring to a pressure group, and says it wants a hand in drawing up new guidelines if this is to be done.

But sys Media Watch, “Their track record doesn’t exactly point to the ability or willingness to do anything about it.”