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The Ontario Liberal…

… anti bullying legislation has brought out of the woodwork some prime examples of how narrow-minded self-interest can trump common sense and compassion.

Essenatially, the proposed legislation puts into place mechanisms that will mandate schools to act aggressively against those who bully. It also lays out some ground rules for those Boards who have students who wish to set up a club or organisation that supports alternative lifestyles. For the record, this is what the Bill – The Accepting Schools Act says to this:

   303.1  Every board shall support pupils who want to establish and lead,

  (a)  activities or organizations that promote gender equity;

  (b)  activities or organizations that promote anti-racism;

   (c)  activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people with disabilities; or

  (d)  activities or organizations that promote the awareness and understanding of, and respect for, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including organizations with the name gay-straight alliance or another name.

And that last clause is what has certain (though not all) religious folks all in a slather.

The religious leaders say that agenda is driven by gay activists (snicker suppressed). Yup. The gays are behind everything evil, I guess.

“When you are forcing teachers, Christian teachers, Jewish teachers, Muslim teachers, to teach things that are contrary to the values that they hold, to teach that there are six genders and that you are not attached to the gender of your anatomy, do you not find that that may be an offence to a lot of Ontarians?” asked McVety.

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of Chabad Flamingo Synagogue in Toronto said he also believes that parts of the anti-bullying bill aimed at making schools inclusive and tolerant of gay lifestyles are offensive to many families.

“This legislation proposes that children be indoctrinated to reject their parents’ faith and their parents’ family values, and that’s an affront,” said Kaplan.

“What nobody here in good conscience can support is a law that calls on people of faith to abandon the beliefs that we consider sacred, all in the name of political correctness.”

Other religious activists say there will be a mass exodus of kids from public and separate schools if the anti-bullying bill with its sexual accommodation provisions is not amended.

But there is nothing in the text whatsoever about Boards and schools being “forced” to set up these groups which scare them so… only that they shall not get in the way of a student or students who do want to set up and lead such an organisation. This will prevent backwards Boards like the Halton Catholic Board from banning such groups in the name that such groups run counter to their philosophies. There are some vague words in the Bill like requiring boards to develop and implement an equity and inclusive education policy, but I don’t see how this can be twisted to mean that all Boards will be required to teach about alternative lifestyles.

Of course, these so-called “religious leaders” will jump at any opportunity to frame progressive legislation as anti-tradition, anti-family and anti-freedom. What is really a set of strict rules intended to deter bullying targeted at any individual regardless of the motivation for the act is twisted into an “example” of how the government is infringing upon the religious rights of certain groups. Clearly, there is no such thing happening in this instance.

And yes, Charles McVetty, of the Institute for “Canadian Values” is the same guy who led a “successful” campaign against the reworking of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum (successful is in quotes because I wonder how a positive slant can be given to a result that will inevitably result in more teen pregnancies, STDs, etc.).

Look – I guess the bottom line is that if you want to bury your head in the sand and seek education programs that reflect your values – that’s your business. And if you want to somehow twist this much-needed anti-bullying Bill to support your narrow-minded beliefs, well that’s your business too.

But it is my business when I, as a taxpayer of Ontario, have to indirectly support these values that I do not at all support. There are private faith-based schools out there who are waiting with open arms for people like you! Go for it! Please! Let the mass exodus of kids from public and separate schools begin!





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  1. Dave says:

    Evolving Squid. All laws are always two edged. Allowing groups even the hard done by white males to create clubs or organizations to promote inclusiveness will probably but not certainly not result in the end of civilization as we know it. Allowing homophobes, racists, religious bigots and those visible minorities that always have everything going for them to hide their hate and intolerance on the basis of religious teaching will certainly, not probably result in kids being harassed and bullied.
    All in all I’d side with a law that allows, not mandates organizations to help protect the little guy on the totem pole before I’d promote the stupidity that our major religions have taught for millenia.
    By the way can we get together a group that wants to execute by stoning everybody who has had or will have sex outside of traditional marriage. Seems to me that would go a long way towards lessening global warming and overpopulation. Gosh a church that taught that should have its rights protected?

    1. This law isn’t “allowing” anything. It’s essentially REQUIRING that these organizations be set up and encouraged.

      A better way to write a law that will achieve the goal of eliminating the discrimination would be:

      “No board shall hinder pupils who want to establish and lead activities or organizations permitted within the laws of Canada and the Charter of Rights.”

      Simple, clear, and gets right to the point without calling out, for what seems to be favouritism, some classes of organization. The effects would be the same, but wording like that, I think, is less confrontational and therefore less likely to encourage people to create organizations like I described just to flout the law.

      Of course, any law like this is unnecessary anyway, since a school board is a government organization and is forbidden by the Charter from hindering such clubs anyway. That is another reason why this is a bad law.

  2. – So when a bunch of dudes get together to form the “Straight Folks Alliance” the board will have to support them under 303.1(d), and they’ll be protected in with the full weight of law and government against what will almost certainly be a widespread and vocal backlash?
    – There’s no such thing as an organization that promotes anti-racism. Promoting anti-racism is, by definition, racism.
    – Would the boards support, as this law requires, a club called “Open your own doors, pull out your own chair, kill your own spiders” a club that promotes the tearing down of chivalric stereotypical behaviour in favour of actual gender equity?

    Laws like this are a two-edged sword.

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