Tim Hudak defends 'homophobic' ads
Tim Hudak is defending controversial political advertisements that Liberals have called homophobic and untruthful.
"I think they reflect (Premier) Dalton McGuinty's out-of-the-mainstream policy ideas to have a sex-ed curriculum that would begin with Grade Ones," Hudak said during a campaign stop at an elderly couple's home in Amhurstburg.
The ad shows a young student writing on a chalkboard covered with snippets of text from a Toronto District School Board teachers' guide.
The ad says Ontario sex-ed curriculum promotes "cross-dressing for six year olds" and encourages students to write their own "gender-bending versions" of classic fairy tales.
Though the ad says it quotes "actual parts of the 2011 K-12 curriculum," the Liberals said it falsely paraphrases chunks of a Toronto District School Board teacher's guide.
The "Equitable and Inclusive Schools - Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism: A K-12 Curriculum Resource Guide" is put out by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to promote equity and inclusivity in classrooms.
Liberals say the guide is completely separate from the province's curriculum, which hasn't changed in 13 years since it was introduced by Mike Harris in 1998.
The flyer says the Liberals have been "keeping parents in the dark" about what's being taught in schools. But the Grits say they send a note home with students at the beginning of every year informing parents of what's being taught.
McGuinty withdrew a new sex-ed curriculum last year after some religious and conservative groups said they were uncomfortable with kids in Grade 3 being taught about same-sex families and sexual orientation.
Liberal MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore Laurel Broten was appalled when she saw the flyers Sunday.
"I think it's a really desperate move on the part of Tim Hudak and the PC party," she told CTVToronto.ca in a phone interview.
"I think it demonstrates what a weak leader Tim Hudak is . . . It's a sign about not wanting to teach our kids to celebrate diversity, and pit one Ontarian against the other. That's not the kind of province I want to raise my kid in," she said.
Broten said the ads "distort (the Liberals') desire to make sure our schools are equitable and fair places."
Hudak was met by protesters waving pride flags when he arrived in London, Ont., Monday after news of the ads broke and sparked a firestorm on Twitter.
The outcry follows a similar advertisement by the Institute for Canadian Values that was published in the National Post last week. The Post later issued an apology for running the ad.