The Ontario PC Party has passed a resolution to debate whether or not the party should recognize gender identity.
The vote happened Saturday morning, during the party’s three-day convention in Toronto.
The resolution says gender identity theory is “A highly controversial, unscientific ‘liberal ideology’; and, as such, that an Ontario PC Government will remove the teaching and promotion of ‘gender identity theory’ from Ontario schools and its curriculum.”
Earlier in the day, it was believed that the vote would be adopted as party policy, but after Global News broke the story, the PC Party clarified its position.
“To be clear, the resolutions passed from the floor were passed only as debate items for next year’s convention,” the party said. “They were not passed as policy coming out of this convention … We are a party that encourages open discussion and debate and giving the grassroots of our party a voice.”
Tanya Granic Allen, a former Ontario PC candidate who introduced the resolution, responded to the initial reports that it was passed by tweeting, “True story!”
The decision is also not binding government policy.
WATCH: Ontario MPP Marit Stiles expressed concern Saturday that a resolution to not recognize gender identity put forward by Tanya Granic Allen and passed by the PC party could trample on human rights.
Allen was an Ontario PC candidate for the recent general provincial election in June but was ousted as a candidate before election day.
In May, the Ontario Liberals brought attention to a 2014 video showing Allen speaking negatively about gay marriage. The PCs dropped her as a candidate calling her comments ‘irresponsible.’
“As you saw in the room, the overwhelming majority of members voted in favour of this so it’s a very happy day for parents in Ontario,” Allen said following the vote. “Gender identity theory is unscientific and highly controversial and parents are concerned about what their children are being taught.”
The passing of the resolution drew immediate criticism from the NDP.
“The party that controls Mr. Ford’s leadership — the party that can oust him if they’re not happy — is sending a clear demand that they want Ontario dragged backwards,” said NDP MPP Marit Stiles. “I think for average Ontarians, this is scary.”
“My initial reaction was true and general disappointment,” said Lyra Evans, a transgender rights advocate.
Evans is also the first openly transgender school trustee in Canada representing zone nine of the Ottawa-Carlton District School Board.
“I truly thought that we as a society sort of agreed to stop debating the validity of trans identities … I think this is going to tell the people of Ontario that this PC Party is more socially conservative than they might’ve been led to believe.”
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– With files from Travis Dhanraj
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