On December 12, 2014, the CCRL issued the following press release in advance of participating in a press conference with Citizens for Good Education (CGE). The CCRL was pleased to join groups including Parents as First Educators (PAFE), Real Women of Canada, Campaign Life Coalition, and the Toronto Chinese Catholic Task-force (TCCT) in voicing our serious concerns regarding proposed changes to Ontario’s Physical and Health Education curriculum and curricular guidelines pertaining to sex education.
December 12, 2014
Since 1985, the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) has been lobbying government and intervening in court challenges in support of law and policy compatible with a Catholic understanding of human nature and the common good. We have worked with the media in order to ensure fair dialogue on issues of public debate. Currently, there is a great concern among the citizens of Ontario regarding the proposed new Health and Physical Education curriculum and its guidelines regarding, in particular, sex education.
Unfortunately, there has been little debate, due to the fact that the Liberal government has not given the citizens of Ontario an opportunity to view the proposed changes. Furthermore, there has been no consultation with the people of our province, other than on a hand-picked one-parent per-school basis. This does not constitute even a minimal degree of acceptable public feedback.
The Catholic Civil Rights League demands that all residents of Ontario be allowed to view and offer response to this proposed new Health and Physical Education curriculum and its guidelines.
The CCRL would also like to remind the provincial government that it is we as Catholics who determine what is taught and how programs are delivered in our Catholic schools. It is the responsibility of Catholic School Boards to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Education’s curriculum documents while developing the detailed courses of study that ensure that all aspects of provincial curricula are in line with the faith and morals of the Catholic Church. This is a constitutional right under Section 93 of the Constitution Act that has been upheld by our courts on many occasions. Should the Liberals with their majority government proceed with these proposed changes, despite considerable public opposition, the CCRL will mobilize all Catholics to remind our Trustees and the Directors of Education of our Catholic School Districts that we must not implement any policy, or any curricular expectations, that violate Catholic teaching. We remind the government of our constitutional rights. Any radical imposition of teaching demands that conflict with the rights of Catholics to raise our children in accordance with our faith and morals will be vehemently opposed.
We expect, however, that the provincial government, as so many times in the past, will continue to respect Catholic School Boards’ constitutional rights with regard to the curriculum.
Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
Executive Director, CCRL