Ontario sex-ed opponent Tanya Granic Allen joins PC leadership race

Tanya Granic Allen, a vocal opponent of the province's sex ed curriculum, has cast her bid to become the next leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party.

Allen says she wants to be a strong voice for socially conservative members

Tanya Granic Allen is running to be leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives. (drafttanya.com)

Tanya Granic Allen, a vocal opponent of the province's sex ed curriculum, has cast her bid to become the next leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative Party.

Elections Ontario listed Allen as a candidate on Tuesday, after she hinted at wanting to be a strong voice for socially conservative members of the party earlier this week. Allen also released statements on her social media and website announcing her candidacy.

According to a senior PC official, there are a small number of remaining steps Allen must take before she's recognized as an official candidate by the party.

The first candidates' debate will be held Feb. 15 and will be hosted by TVO. In an email to CBC Toronto, TVO's director of external relations and corporate communications, Sara Goldvine, said: "We are ready to welcome Ms. Allen as the fourth candidate, once/if the PCPO green lights her participation."

Allen is the fourth person to join one of the shortest leadership races in Canadian history, alongside Christine Elliott, Doug Ford and Caroline Mulroney. 

The new leader of the party will be announced on March 10 — barely six weeks after Patrick Brown's resignation over sexual misconduct allegations. 

Tanya Granic Allen, president of Parents as First Educators, launched her bid for Tory leader, saying she wants to be a voice for the party's socially conservative members. (Tanya Granic Allen/Twitter)

Allen is a mother of four, and the president of a group called Parents As First Educators, that challenges what it calls Ontario's "radical" sex ed curriculum. 

Ford also spoke about the province's sex ed curriculum Monday, announcing he plans to revisit it should he win the leadership race and go on to represent the party in the provincial election in June. 

Elliott has also said she believes sex education should be taught in schools but agrees with Ford that Wynne's government didn't consult enough with parents.

Mulroney said, however, she would not undo any changes that have already been made, but parents should have a louder voice when it comes to revisions, according to a spokesperson.

The curriculum has been a source of controversy since Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government introduced an updated version of it in 2015.

Allen said on her website she is "not sure any of the three declared candidates are going to be that strong voice," ensuring "the protest of parents across this province isn't falling upon deaf ears."

CBC Toronto reached out to Allen about her candidacy, but hasn't received a response.