PAFE has led the way in alerting supporters to the threat posed by Critical Race tTheory (CRT) over the past year. We have been commenting on the surge of an influential anti-CRT parental movement in American politics in our social media and we have started, in 2021, to build up a Canadian parental pushback!
We became aware of the “Ontario CRT” problem in July 2021 when the Ford administration in Ontario announced that it was inserting CRT language into the math curriculum. PAFE immediately snapped into action to inform our supporters. Through the advocacy of concerned parents and publicity by some responsible journalists, Education Minister Stephen Lecce immediately repealed the announcement.
Since then, we have sent numerous emails to our supporters and posted blogs to inform them of the threat Critical Race Theory poses for Canadian schools, advising parents about proposed changes to curricula and planning decisions (such as de-streaming math) in their local school boards.
When the NDP introduced Bill 67, a bill that would promote the teaching of CRT in Ontario, in December of 2021, we implored parents to urge their local MPP to vote against this bill.
Even though we sent out numerous emails asking supporters to contact their local politicians, when the bill came up for second reading in March, only one MPP stood up against it, and that was Belinda Karahalios.
As we told our readers afterward in an email:
“Only Belinda Karahalios of the New Blue Party voted against it.
Rick Nicholls of the Ontario Party voted in favour of Bill 67. We were as shocked as you are, but we note that he has since publicly expressed his regret at not fully understanding the issue, and has vowed to oppose it from now on.”
As discussed above, PAFE is understanding, up to a point, about giving second, or third chances, or tenth chances. Nicholls should have known better. He should have known that Bill 67 entailed support for Critical Race Theory, and he should have known just how bad CRT is. He has been an elected MPP for 11 years! And, finally, as the only MPP of Derek Sloan’s Ontario Party, Sloan should have ensured that Rick Nicholls was aware of his own party’s position against CRT and Bill 67.
Jim Karahalios is suggesting this episode is proof of a lack of commitment to certain principles on the part of Rick Nicholls, and has refused to accept his apology. Fair enough – such “party” vs “party” criticism is a part of the cut and thrust of partisan politics. But Karahalios goes further when he implies that somehow PAFE should wear Nicholls’ shame on this matter. The suggestion is sleazy, and it is a lie. Sadly, this is typical “Jim Karahalios.”
Karahalios implies that due to our past endorsement of Derek Sloan for the 2020 CPC leadership, and Rick Nicholls being a candidate for Derek Sloan’s new Ontario Party, that PAFE somehow is responsible for Nicholls' mistaken vote in favour of Bill 67. This is like saying that, even though PAFE endorsed Belinda Karahalios in 2018, we are somehow responsible for her subsequent betrayal on the issue of Ontario parents on the Wynne/Ford sex ed, or that PAFE is somehow to blame for her early support of Ford’s anti-democratic lockdown/COVID measures.
Further, we have never defended Nicholls’ vote. On the contrary, we have publicly criticized it.
PAFE will continue to promote politicians who defend parental rights as we move on to mobilize our supporters before third reading of Bill 67. What should we do about politicians like Belinda Karahalios and Rick Nicholls who once sided with Ford, and against parents, but have since recanted their cowardice and now oppose Ford?