Searching for sex ed in Ontario…

When Kait was in her early teens, I agreed to send her to a sex education program run through our Unitarian Universalist congregation. This program was comprehensive, informative, and LGBTQ friendly, something that couldn’t be said about the school’s program at the time. When he got old enough, Colin got sent to the same program for the same reasons.

In 2015, after several years of research and discussion, our then premier, Kathleen Wynne, unveiled a new program. It was comprehensive, informative, and LGBTQ friendly. Young children were taught the names their body parts, including their genitals, while older children learned about consent, sexting, and online bullying. And LGBTQ students were addressed as well.

We have a new premier now, a buffoon named Doug Ford. He’s not only scrapped the new program but has set up a snitch line so parents and students can report any teacher who uses any material from the now scrapped program. The old program, written in 1998, did not include online bullying, which makes sense since we were on dial up. The new program does. So if a teacher addresses online bullying, they could be facing disciplinary actions.

Meanwhile a generation of students need education.

That’s were the Canadian Unitarian Council comes in. They are offering to teach any student in Ontario the OWL program (Our Whole Lives). From their press statement

The Canadian Unitarian Council is deeply concerned that the loss of comprehensive sexuality education in Ontario schools will leave children and youth vulnerable at a time when they most need accurate information and empowerment to make good decisions. Asha Philar, OWL Coordinator for the CUC states, “The Our Whole Lives program gives youth the tools to make healthy and age-appropriate choices and helps LGBTQ youth find self-acceptance and support. Without access to accurate information and learning opportunities, Ontario students are put at risk and we fear that LGBTQ youth will face even more barriers to acceptance.”

The program is not free, the price for a several day program is $250, but it is worthwhile, especially considering the education our children are (not) receiving. If this program sounds like something you’d be interested in, please email owl@cuc.ca. OWL programs are available at many UU congregations from September through May and have age appropriate programs from kindergarten to adulthood.

Hopefully Ford will back down on his decision, especially faced with so much opposition but, until then, the Canadian Unitarian Council is there to fill the gap.

Colin and Kait at Niagara Falls

Colin and Kait. Happy, healthy, and educated

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For my Ontario readers…

One more day. One more day until Ontario votes. Before you sit down to cast your vote, I want you to remember these things.

Doug Ford was the only member at city hall to vote against a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youths, the most marginalized and at risk people.

Doug Ford complained about a group home for autistic people, saying *they* should be out in the country somewhere instead of ruining property values. “Put them out on 43 acres so they can run around.” He does know they‘re people and not puppies, right?

Recently he was asked what he’d do for LGBTQ homeless youth and he responded that he’d lower their taxes. Because the homeless have such high taxes to begin with.

He *still* hasn’t decided if he’s going to march in the Toronto Pride parade. I’m betting he’ll decide on “no” as soon as the polls close.

He wants to get ride of rent controls. There used to be total rent controls. If I was paying $670 a month and moved out, the next person could only be charged $670, unless there were major upgrades. Mike Harris cut that and our rents have since skyrocketed. Ford now wants to cut the rent control that allows current tenants to only be charged a certain percentage of rent a year. For example, my rent increase was $38/m this year. If Ford has his way, you could be paying $1200/m and get a notice saying you’re now paying $1400/m. Ford claims that will *help* tenants. Help them right into shelters that is. Exactly how many people on disability and old age pension can he fit into homeless shelters? A fixed income doesn’t stretch just because the rent does.

He’s trying to buy votes with a $1 a beer campaign. Really? Is your vote really worth $1. Is your health care, your child’s education, really worth a $24 two-four?

He’s also running his personal business into the ground. How do you expect him to balance the budget if he can’t keep his own business up and running.

He went out in 2013 and bought votes from people in public housing for $20. Just went in with a wad of cash and started handing out money. He claimed it was a “gift”. Do you think he’s changed in the last 5 years. Do you think his ethics have improved?

We can’t afford Doug Ford. He’ll transform Ontario into a place that best serves his rich friends and will screw over everyone else.

Please vote wisely and make your voice heard. Thank you!