Are they teaching the old or the new sex-ed? Is the stuff Doug Ford promised would be scrapped still in there?
It’s tough to tell.
This is a weird spot for Ford’s new government which has dealt with some pretty big, controversial and substantial files and not had the communications problems that they have had with sex-ed.
I’m not talking about the media and opposition furor over this file, I’m talking about the government tripping on its own feet again and again.
Promise made, promise maybe kept?
They promised a full repeal and review of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum then made it a repeal up until grade 8. They said the controversial issues would be removed and reviewed for younger grades but some are still in there, like gender identity.
It’s like someone doesn’t want to deliver “For the People” as the Ford team likes to say. Sure the people were promised one thing but bureaucrats want another.
Which is why I think this is either Education Minister Lisa Thompson not agreeing with the Premier’s promise or she can’t stand up to her bureaucrats. We know the bureaucrats support the old Wynne curriculum.
Think about it.
This government has slashed Toronto’s city council, scrapped cap and trade, launched a lawsuit against Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax and so much more. And on those files it was relatively clean communication wise.
On sex-ed it has been so bad that they actually hid Minister Thompson for about a week.
Maybe they should do it again.
Last week’s education announcement was really, really good. It calls for a parent’s bill of rights, mechanisms to complain about teachers, a review of the failing math curriculum, the addition of financial literacy to schools and an emphasis on the trades.
Most of that wasn’t covered, or covered extensively, in the media.
I saw some reports that only talked sex-ed. Most of the discussion of sex-ed last week focused on the anger of teachers unions, school boards and activists on the changes.
Yet talk to Tanya Granic Allen, an activist on the other side and a woman whose supporters made Doug Ford PC Party leader and she doesn’t know what the announcement is about.
I spoke to Tanya on radio on Sunday and she said it is a muddled mess.
Can’t argue with her.
This is why Premier Ford needs to pay attention to this issue and force and demand the kind of clarity that he and the rest of his team have delivered on other files.
Education is a big file. It was also a big promise in the election campaign.
This can’t be left to amateurs.
You can listen to my interview with Tanya Granic Allen here.
Here I am talking about this issue in a rant on my radio show on Newtalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa.