Jim Karahalios is right to observe that we have ignored him. PAFE’s decision to ignore the Karahalios couple has been mostly out of charity, and that is also why we have mostly ignored MPP Rick Nicholls. Let me explain.
Rick Nicholls has been the MPP for the Chatham area since 2011. In 2014, Nicholls was, for a long time, the only MPP supporting Patrick Brown’s bid for Ontario PC Leader. For his part, Jim Karahalios first helped MPP (and now Ford Cabinet Minister) Monte McNaughton. After McNaughton dropped out of the race, Jim Karahalios joined Nicholls to support Brown. Jim was an effective and enthusiastic member of Patrick Brown’s leadership team. It was during the McNaughton leadership campaign, that PAFE first worked closely with Belinda and Jim. We did not work with Nicholls but knew him by reputation to be a strong social conservative.
Tanya Granic Allen, Leadership Candidate 2018
After the downfall of Patrick Brown in January 2018, and the sudden snap leadership contest to replace him, then-PAFE President Tanya Granic Allen took a leave from her position to run for Ontario PC leader. Tanya did a terrific job fighting for parental rights in that leadership campaign. For the previous few years, everyone said that the issue of Kathleen Wynne’s radical sex ed agenda was a “dead” issue, but Tanya made sure to put that issue back into the limelight. As a result, Doug Ford promised to “scrap” Wynne’s sex ed curriculum altogether, and even campaigned against gender identity theory. We all know this was in response to the resurgence of social conservatives in the PC party, and we also know that we can thank Tanya Granic Allen for that resurgence.
Jim’s Betrayal of Tanya
Jim Karahalios spent much of that leadership campaign providing help and support to Tanya’s effort, though he was also quietly helping Doug Ford.
Ultimately, Ford won the leadership. A few weeks later, Jim Karahalios’s wife Belinda sought, and won, the PC nomination meeting in Cambridge. This was around the same time that PAFE’s then-president, Tanya Granic Allen, also won the PC nomination in Mississauga Centre.
Next, Ford betrayed Tanya – and democracy – and Team Ford engineered the overturning of Tanya’s nomination win. PAFE, and many social conservatives in Ontario, were outraged and called, emailed, and even publicly protested Ford and the Ontario PC Party.
Belinda and Jim Karahalios were nowhere to be found among those publicly protesting Ford’s betrayal of Tanya and the pro-family movement. This, even though Jim had spent much of the previous year, through a group called “Take Back Your PC Party”, protesting the idea that the PC leader could overturn meetings and appoint candidates.
So complete was Jim’s betrayal of Tanya that he – and Belinda – said nothing publicly against the Ford dictatorship.
For his part, neither did Rick Nicholls, MPP, even though he was one of the leading socially conservative MPPs in the party.
Did PAFE criticize the cowardice of Rick Nicholls, or the silence of the Karahalioses? No. Indeed, not only did PAFE say nothing, but, with Tanya now back as PAFE president, she actually endorsed Belinda Karahalios in her effort to get elected in her riding. Why? Because Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals were so bad, and they had to lose. After 15 years of anti-family Liberal government, PAFE, and Tanya, realized that the PCs had to win, and the Liberals had to lose.
This meant endorsing Belinda Karahalios, despite her past personal betrayal.
Belinda’s betrayal of PAFE
Belinda would again betray PAFE a few short months later. After Ford won the June 2018 election, carrying with him Rick Nicholls and Belinda Karahalios into the legislature, he reiterated his plan to “scrap” the Wynne sex ed curriculum, but there were immediate warning signs that he didn’t plan to keep his promise. So, in August, 2018, within a few short weeks, PAFE collected over 40,000 signatures – actual signatures, on paper – in a petition, calling on the Ford government to repeal the Wynne sex ed curriculum, and to stop the teaching of the woke gender identity theory. Boxes of these petitions were sorted according to the riding, hand-delivered to each PC MPP representing those constituents.
The normal procedure for MPPs is to then stand up in the legislature and read out the petition and indicate roughly how many signatures were represented. In our case, usually there were hundreds of names submitted to each PC MPP, and sometimes more than that. Out of the dozens of PC MPPs eligible to do their historic and democratic duty to submit the petitions from their constituents, only two – TWO – PC MPPs submitted the anti-sex ed, anti-gender theory PAFE petition. Those MPPs were Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, and Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.
Rick Nicholls? Silent. Belinda Karahalios? Silent.
PAFE emailed our supporters asking them to lobby MPPs to stand up and present the PAFE anti sex ed petition.
Neither Nicholls nor Karahalios would budge and present our sex-ed petition.
Karahalios even told the press that petitions mean little and are not effective on their own. (We note that her New Blue Party has launched a number of petitions of their own in recent months). PAFE mentioned Belinda’s refusal to present our petition, and her silence on the sex ed issue, in our Christmas email of 2019.
So what happened to Belinda’s solemn promise of March 24, 2018 when she plainly stated that the “repeal and replace” promise that Ford made on the Wynne sex ed curriculum was of “fundamental importance” to her? Now that Belinda Karahalios was an MPP, and, further, had been named a “Parliamentary Assistant” in the Ford government, with extra pay and staff, it seems that Belinda chose to obey those in the Ford government who had instructed the PC MPPs to “ignore” PAFE’s sex ed petition.
And while Belinda and the rest of the PC MPPs were “silent” on Ford’s early steps to betray his sex ed promise, and wilfully ignoring the petitions of tens of thousands of Ontario parents, Belinda’s husband Jim was running to become the President of the Doug Ford Ontario PC Party. Maybe this was another reason why Belinda was “silent” and refused to submit the PAFE petition.
Ford releases 2019 curriculum that's substantially the same as Wynne's program
Almost a year after the Convention, in late August of 2019, Doug Ford and his government formally announced his “new” sex ed curriculum and it was a warmed-over rehash of the Wynne sex ed curriculum, which kept the gender identity theory. With this final installment of the sex ed betrayal completed, Tanya Granic Allen, in one of her last acts before retiring as PAFE President, called Ford out for his “flip-flop” but was not as kind as that. She rightly called Doug Ford out for being a “LIAR” and these comments were widely reported in the press at the time.
Indeed, even the left-wing press thought that Ford was a liar when it came to this issue.
When the Ford sex ed betrayal was finalized, where was the great social conservative Rick Nicholls, MPP? Nowhere. Where was the so-called “PAFE supporter” Belinda Karahalios, MPP? Nowhere. SILENT.
Did PAFE and Tanya publicly shame these two so-called socially conservative MPPs for being complicit in the betrayal of the parents and the children of Ontario? No. Perhaps we should have.