Ontario is in for a a series of major shifts that will alter its current sleepiness in a matter of months.
The US got that ball rolling because they have a president who smelled a weak prime minister, and they are going to push it for all it is worth.
And now after almost fifteen years of Liberal rule, we have a Conservative government who did not waste a moment knocking off all the campaign promises from their to do list.
Doug Ford is not talking about "stretch goals." He is just keeping his promises, clearing the deck to bring in a completely new system to the province.
I am not going to babble whether this is a good thing or a bad thing as I do not have a crystal ball. I can say that he got elected by being very open about what he was going to do, and people voted him in because of it.
If they did not want it, they would have stuck to the Liberals or voted in the NDP if they wanted the extreme, more expensive version of it.
So you have a province who is very divided, but not so much that the Tories didn't get their majority. They did and had a clear mandate. They won the election. Not by the skin of their teeth win, but a confident one.
That is the reality of the province.
But to Ontario journalists, they do not actually comprehend what that actually means.
They are reporting on certain issues in a very partisan way that makes their reports deceptive. They are taking ideological beliefs are trying to pass it off as facts and news, and it is not.
So, first off, let us be clear: Doug Ford said he was going to scrap the 2015 Sex Ed curriculum.
The massive tome found here.
It clocks at well over 200 pages. I seriously doubt one percent of Ontario parents actually read that thing. I am not a parent, and I have read it. It is long, tedious, cringeworthy, ideological in places, and not as progressive or as sensitive to realities as it is being portrayed.
It babbles. A lot. It has the typical authoritative arrogance and condescending tone that is comical as life is far more complicated than the take home lessons in this work implies.
It is not enlightened. It panders to certain marginalized and abused groups, which, I suppose can be construed as something positive because they are usually just shut out as if they did not exist.
Mind you, when I had to take Sex Ed in junior high in the 1980s. it was the same: underwhelming and not as helpful when you tried to use what you learned in the real world. My mother had already taken care of my Sex Ed, complete with making me read the book Love and Sex in Plain Language, which was not a bad book as a starting point. It wasn't patronizing, which I appreciated.
Many parents didn't like the changes from the 1998 version (but many didn't like the earlier versions, either, as one of my first stories as a newspaper reporter in mid 1990s dealt with a group that thought the old one was just dreadful, but they were merely preying on parents' fears and were actually angling to replace evolutionary science with creationism in the classroom). Many parents did. Most parents had no clue one way or another because reading that manual with the care and focus it requires is a real drag.
If it were up to me, I would quiz parents on what is in that book, and then listen to all the excuses about how busy they are to do so, even though they repeatedly tell me against my will what is happening on Game of Thrones and with the Kardashians.
But people had strong opinions regardless. Kids are kids; they pretty much are trusting good sports who go with the flow, having the goodwill to believe what they are learning is relevant and important. Bless them for it.
The parents who didn't like it did not let it go. Tanya Granic Allen nearly made a political career from that disdain. People put up with spiralling utility, gas, and mortgage costs, but this was their line in the sand.
Doug Ford promised to repeal it. He got voted in. The End.
So that is the reality of the situation, and you would think if journalists were doing stories on this fact, they would seriously and deeply take that critical factor into consideration.
But no dice.
They are behaving as if Ford just stormed in uninvited, made a tyrannical decree against the will of every parent in Ontario, and did away with it on his own.
That is not what happened. Not even close. You had a very unpopular curriculum put in place, and now that side of the fence was listened to because they were the ones who voted in enough numbers to matter.
Watching CHCH's report on it this evening was amusing because it has the hack of no-brainer streeters and an "expert" who would naturally pull toward one side of the issue.
Newsflash: people lived for centuries without this Sex Ed curriculum. Most of the world has not had it, either. Somehow, life flourishes and goes on. Let us not have some sort of silly sink or swim argument here.
The Toronto Star is playing the same game, exploiting a grieving father who lost his daughter after she was sexually exploited to the point she took her own life -- and he gets some comfort in believing that this would have prevented his daughter from dying, complete with his Very Sad Face guilting people that the Star lives to parade.
I doubt very much that education would have changed anything in that tragedy. When you leave a group of unsupervised teens in close proximity together where they are all intoxicated, you have a lion's den where any cub or wandering lamb is going to get harmed.
That's nature. Cruel, cold, heartless nature in a room filled with inexperienced, enabled teens who cannot control those new surges of hormones as they all compete, lie, dare, insult, bully, and goad each other because they don't know what consequences mean.
There is no education on the face of this earth that is going to trump that toxic stew.
You could lock every one of those teens in a closet, chain them, and make them read and study, as you isolate them from the outside world. That could prevent it, but that is also sick and abusive, and would be even worse as it prepared them less for the realities of life. Life is filled with risks and gambles, and taking extremes won't help.
Life is also filled with tragedy, and the hardest lesson to learn in life is sometimes bad things happen to good people, and it cannot be stopped. There is no If Only. There is only What Was.
Many people take their own lives. Many people get bullied, but don't. Many people don't get bullied, but do. We assume one action is linked to another, but we cannot always assume there was a solution to a problem.
That one of the boys expressed regret sounded more like regret that he was inconveniently labelled a rapist than that his victim felt despair with no way out. No school lesson can dispel that sort of selfish thinking. No magic wand can reverse it.
If we had actual journalism, we wouldn't have propaganda pieces that distort reality. You have people who wanted that curriculum for their own reasons. You had people who were against it for their own reasons. The party that spoke to the those against it won.
That was a major platform, and yet, journalists covering the campaign didn't pick up on it. Instead of mindlessly running after candidates at corny photo ops, they should have done their research, looking at the salient issues from multiple angles, and seen why this issues was resonating with a lot of voters from across the province without making rude and haughty assumptions.
Now, there is howling where there should be reason. We have all sorts of untrue to life morality tales being spewed. That is not what we need to hear.
We need facts. We always do,
The problem is we rarely ever get them.