Toronto

Sex-ed consult website flooded by 'certain groups' who may have skewed results: Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is suggesting the results of an online consultation on sex education were skewed by "certain groups" in the early stages of the process.

Review of 1,600 submissions shows huge support for modern sex-ed curriculum

Premier Doug Ford said the ForTheParents.ca website was flooded by unnamed groups when it launched. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is suggesting the results of an online consultation on sex education were skewed by "certain groups" in the early stages of the process.

The premier was asked Tuesday whether the province would respect the outcome of the consultation after documents obtained by The Canadian Press showed an overwhelming majority of those who weighed in on the first day opposed his repeal of a modernized sex-ed curriculum introduced by the previous Liberal government.

Out of roughly 1,600 submissions to the ForTheParents.ca website obtained through a freedom of information request, roughly two dozen supported the Progressive Conservative government's decision to repeal the document and temporarily replace it with one based on the 1998 curriculum.

Ford, who made cancelling the curriculum an election issue, said the website was flooded by unnamed groups when it launched.

He said the province would review the 35,000 submissions it received before making a decision.

The government launched the submissions website in August after Ford pledged to conduct what he called the largest consultations in the province's history to create a new lesson plan.

At the time, the premier said teachers who used the repealed curriculum would face consequences, prompting critics to dub the website a "snitch line."

The 1998 curriculum that temporarily replaced the scrapped document was panned by critics who said it didn't address themes like gender identity, consent and cyber-safety.

The government later announced it had come up with an interim lesson plan that addressed those issues but experts said it contains only passing mention of modern concepts such as the internet and cellphones.

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