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Doug Ford promises to review sex-ed curriculum as part of education platform

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Doug Ford is promising to revisit Ontario’s elementary and secondary school curriculum, which includes taking an in-depth look at the sexual education syllabus if elected Ontario’s next PC leader.

The PC candidate spoke to media at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School on Monday, saying the way the Liberals introduced Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum was “totally unacceptable.”

“Consultations with parents were insufficient,” Ford told reporters.

“Unlike the Liberals, I know that parents – not government – are our first educators when it comes to our children… Sex- ed curriculum should be about facts, not teaching Liberal ideology.”

Ford said he would review curriculum in all core subject areas and would reach out to parents to hear their concerns.

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“If I’m elected leader, I will take this issue to the party, to parents and to the voters. I will remain firm on this issue,” he said.

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“I will always stand for parents having the first say in what their children learn.”

In 2015, Ontario introduced a new sex-ed curriculum which explores concepts of gender identity and sexual orientation.

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Some of the objections have come from religious groups who claim the curriculum doesn’t align with their values. Some parents have also accused the Liberal government of failing to allow them enough input into the development of the new curriculum.

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Ford also criticized the PC Party’s handling of the sex-ed curriculum, adding there was no consultation done with members of the PC Party.

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“Our own PC Party refused to consult its own members on what we thought of this curriculum,” he said.

“[They] Stonewalled debate of the issue by forbidding discussion of this policy from reaching membership during the policy development process.”

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Ford is one of three candidates running in Ontario’s PC leadership race.

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He will be competing against Caroline Mulroney, daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney and former MP Christine Elliott.

The Ontario PC leadership vote is scheduled to happen in early March.

— With a file from The Canadian Press