Parents demand McGuinty drop Bill 13
Although the focus of Bill 13 has been how it would affect the separate or Catholic school system, about half those attending the event were Protestants and evangelicals, and these Christians were also joined by Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus opposed to the bill. There were numerous Korean, Chinese and Filipino participants. The large throng, which one MPP reported could be heard inside the legislature, was met with a counter-demonstration of 40 gay, white activists who chanted anti-Christian slogans.
The event was primarily organized by Concerned Catholic Parents of Ontario, and was promoted by Campaign Life Catholics and Charles McVety of Canada Christian College. CCPO’s Kim Galvao expected just a few hundred attendees because the event was organized in less than two weeks and the bullying bill was taking a back seat to the provincial budget that was introduced earlier that week. But they brought out the largest crowd to demonstrate at Queen’s Park since the Defund Abortion Rally last October. She said the demonstration was necessary because the Liberal government is not listening to the serious concerns being expressed by parents regarding the bill.
There were more than a half dozen speakers who rallied and informed the crowd. Catholic Insight editor and Bill 13 critic Fr. Alphonse de Valk opened with a prayer before urging the crowd to put pressure on politicians to defeat the bill in order to protect parental rights and religious freedom.
Galvao said Bill 13 is not really about preventing bullying as it was imposing a sexual agenda on “our schools.” She said, “as a mom I do not want my children taught that there are seven different genders. As a mom, I do not want my young children taught the disputed theory that a person’s gender is not connected to their physical anatomy.”
Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Catholics went into the theory behind Bill 13 and how it will be used for social engineering purposes. He charged, “McGuinty’s Bill 13 is about social engineering. It is about indoctrinating kids to reject the moral and religious beliefs of their parents on human sexuality, in favour of the government’s ideology.” He noted that the anti-bullying bill ignores the main reasons for bullying, namely body shape and size, but does “contain bizarre things like the seven gender theory.” The seven gender theory proposes that human beings are not either male or female, but also could be homosexual, transgender, two-spirited, or inter-sexed, among others.
Holding up a copy of Bill 13 and a copy of the resource guide from the Toronto District School Board titled, Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism, Charles McVety, head of the evangelical Canada Christian College, said he was concerned with the violation of parental rights, the attack on religious liberty, and the restriction that any person or group renting schools would also have to abide by the new legislation. He accused Bill 13’s backers of bullying when they say opponents are homophobic and bigoted. He urged the crowd not to be silenced by these false criticisms.
McVety charged the government with promoting a sexual agenda that will confuse children. “I have a beautiful little girl and I don’t want her to be confused,” he said.
Dominic Tse, pastor of North York Community Chinese Church accused the Liberal government of using Communist totalitarian tactics similar to those used in the Communist China that many in his community fled from. Tse said, “we are not going to allow the government’s Bill 13 to dictate to us what we need to do and what we need to think.”
Teresa Pierre of Parents as First Educators said Bill 13 is “a grave violation of our conscience rights.” She demanded the government respect the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children and not push a sexual agenda upon student under the guise of creating safe school environments.
Family Coalition Party leader Phil Lees insisted, “we will not allow the rights of responsible, principled Ontarians to be taken away.”
Allan Tam, a Chinese community leader and school trustee at York Region District School Board, began his rallying speech with a “Halleluiah” that threw the crowd into cheers. He said parents and taxpayers must not allow the government to foist Bill 13 down the throats of school boards, schools, and families. He said that the bill was undemocratic because school boards should be dealing with these issues, not the education ministry.
Four Progressive Conservative MPPs attended the protest: Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga), Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent-Essex), John O’Toole (Durham) and Jerry Ouellete (Oshawa). Other elected officials came out to the steps to watch some of the speeches.
Nicholls urged the crowd to put pressure on their MPPs and the government to defeat the bill.
Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer (Waterloo) has introduced a bill that would combat bullying (Bill 14) which does not promote a sexual agenda and does not include gay-straight alliances. Nicholls encouraged people to support Bill 14 and organizers said they have no problem with that bill.
Campaign Life Catholics’ Fonseca told The Interim that although numerous television cameras were present and several reporters mulled about the crowd, few media outlets reported on the large demonstration. CityTV and Sun News Network covered the event, as did the Toronto Sun in a Christina Blizzard column that related the protest to her pet issue of denying funding for Catholic education and the National Post with a photo but no story. The Toronto Sun’s coverage included photos of the two demonstrations, but the close cropping implied that the protests were of equal sizes despite the anti-Bill 13 crowd being about 40 times larger.