We’re into the final week of the election campaign, the poll numbers are very close and tensions are running high. Under these conditions you expect mudslinging, but accusations of homophobia certainly took me by surprise. However, homophobic is exactly how the Ontario Liberals are describing the Ontario PC campaign flyer that was distributed to some GTA ridings (Xtra! quoted a Liberal source who said that English and Punjabi versions of the flyer were distributed in Brampton).
At first I thought the Ontario PCs were quoting the Liberals’ abandoned sex education curriculum in an attempt to portray it as outside of the mainstream. In April, 2010, the McGuinty government scrapped a new sex education curriculum within a week of releasing it, because some complained that it was too explicit with children at too early an age.
However, earlier this morning the Ontario Liberals issued a press release claiming that the PC flyer misrepresents facts and is actually quoting the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) resource guide, “Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum Resource Guide.”
The flyer is indeed quoting the TDSB resource guide and the flyer even refers to this guide by name. None of the quotes in the flyer appear in the McGuinty government’s abandoned sex ed curriculum. The quotes are also largely misleading. For example, the flyer claims there is something about "cross dressing for six year-olds" on page 19, but that page only contains a list of LGBT figures throughout history.
In May, 2010, the Agenda with Steve Paikin examined the proposed reforms to Ontario’s sex ed curriculum.
Liberal Party strategist Warren Kinsella is trying to rally Conservatives to speak out against these ads, comparing them to the 1993 Progressive Conservative Party of Canada’s advertisement that seemed to ridicule then-Liberal leader Jean Chretien’s Bell’s palsy.
Do you think that’s a fair comparison? Do you think the flyer is homophobic, or is this just a debate about the kind of sex education Ontarians want in their schools?