Monte McNaughton demanded Kathleen Wynne release details of her government’s sex ed plans.

Monte McNaughton demanded Kathleen Wynne release details of her government’s sex ed plans.

Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership hopeful Monte McNaughton has challenged the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne over its plans to introduce a sex ed program. In 2010, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government nixed its new sex education curriculum after parents and religious groups condemned the program for being age-inappropriate. Wynne was then the education minister.

The Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, Toronto Public Health, and Planned Parenthood Toronto have been agitating for an updated sex ed curriculum. While the government has made no official announcement, the Toronto Star has reported that the government is seeking input from select parents from each school in the province before unveiling their revised sex ed curriculum.

On Nov. 18, McNaughton pressed Wynne to release details of the curriculum. He asked the premier, “why have you decided to break the 2010 Liberal promise to consult with parents before reintroducing new changes to Ontario’s Sex education curriculum.”

Wynne refused to answer the question, offering non sequiturs about sexual harassment and other irrelevant issues.

In a follow-up McNaughton asked: “Why don’t you simply release the details of the proposed changes to the sex education curriculum now? What are you trying to hide?”

Wynne ignored the request to release the revised curriculum, but did seem to move on how the government would solicit input from the public.

In October, Education Minister Liz Sandals indicated her Ministry would direct every one of Ontario’s estimated 4,000 school principals to select one parent at the school to answer an online survey .

During Question Period, the Premier seemed to suggest the plan now was for the Ministry of Education to rely on local school councils to lead the process of consultation with parents. Wynne said in the legislature, “I understand that the role of a school council chair is to talk to the people in his or her school to get that input and then to feed that input into a process.” Wynne added, “we promised we would consult with parents (and) that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Wynne also told McNaughton to talk to school council chairs “and to have a conversation with them about what they think should be in the physical and health education curriculum, because that is the consultation that we’re doing.”

McNaughton says he does not know how school council presidents “will be able to properly consult with local parents if there is no publicly available copy of Wynne’s sex-ed plans.”

McNaughton later told LifeSiteNews he cannot provide specific complaints about the sex ed curriculum because “I just don’t know what’s in it.” He said he “strongly believe(s), especially in sex education, that parents are primarily responsible for educating their children. And they are the best judges of what is age-appropriate.”

In 2010, the proposed curriculum discussed gender as a social construct in Grade 3, encouraged masturbation in Grade 6, and taught about anal sex in Grade 7. At the time, evangelical leader Charles McVety and Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast successfully called for the curriculum to be shelved. Shortly after winning the Ontario Liberal leadership and becoming premier in early 2013, Wynne vowed to update the sex ed curriculum but did not act on the file before the provincial election.

Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition told The Interim he believes the new curriculum will “look very much like the 2010 curriculum,” when Wynne was education minister.

LifeSiteNews reports that the survey the Ministry of Education is using for consultations is biased, with respondents asked to agree or disagree with statements that are vague and without reference to age. It says that the answers to the questions are open-ended enough to justify whatever the government wants to propose.

According to the Toronto Star Sandals has already admitted, “the results of the survey are unlikely to lead to any direct changes to the curriculum.”

McNaughton maintains that all parents, and not a select 4000 of them, should be consulted about revision to sex ed curriculum, and that the government should heed the concerns of parents.

McNaughton is one of five declared candidates running for the Ontario PC leadership race which will be held in May. None of the other four candidates – federal Conservative MP Patrick Brown or Tory MPPs Christine Elliott, Vic Fedeli, and Lisa Macleod – have spoken out against the revised curriculum or the process used by the government for its consultations.

To vote in the leadership race, Ontario residents must be valid members of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives by Feb. 28.