“Things” happen, and when they happen it is mostly not a good thing. The “thing” that happened this week for Patrick Brown was a letter, a letter that never should have been sent out. I think I can safely say that Patrick Brown, had he known that someone was thinking of writing that letter – would have STOPPED IT RIGHT THERE. Unfortunately the letter did go out, but, it does not reflect how he and the Ontario PC Party stand of the new Ontario Sex Education curriculum.
I do not know who wrote the letter, but I am pretty sure it was not Patrick, nor did it come from the Leader’s Office. I frankly don’t know why anyone would think that the letter was needed; the campaign in Scarborough-Rouge River was not being fought on sex education. The issues were Hydro, Healthcare and a “Harder” life under the Liberals. If a letter was needed with a new issue, Yasir Naqvi’s claim that the Liberal Pay for Access is exactly the same as a political BBQ.
Since the introduction on the new Sex-Ed curriculum the Ontario PC Party has decried the lack of parental input into the courses. The government used the opinions of less than 1500 people to redraw how children are taught about sex, sexual preferences and lifestyle options. 1500 people represented 2 million children enrolled in Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools. The critical portion of the program affects grades K-8 where there are 1.3 million students. One consulted parent represented less than 1000 students. Imagine the out roar if the Election Reform committee altered our election system to allow one voter to represent the views of 1000 others.
Patrick was right to apologize and re-state his personal and party support but he also had a duty make clear that how the curriculum was devised and how the government consulted was not right. As in other decisions the Wynne government has made, the majority is affected by the opinions and actions of a few.
It is important that the apology is not a change of position, it is a restatement of Patrick’s personal belief and the direction that he is taking the party of inclusion and welcome to everyone and all opinions. The setting up again of the big tent under Patrick Brown’s watch is a welcome sight.