Liberal Glen Murray endorsed the now-shelved 2010 sex ed curriculum today, issuing an impassioned plea for more time to convince his caucus that it’s a good idea.
The Toronto Centre MPP says that residents of his riding support sex ed and that people who have contacted him are 10-to-one in favour of the changes. Liberals in smaller towns will have a tougher sell, he says, but he is offering to help them make the pitch. In the meantime?
“I am going to have to ask for patience from my constituents,” Murray told Xtra in an interview.
In January, the province released an updated sexual education and health curriculum, the first in 12 years. But after complaints from the religious right, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday that the province would pull the new curriculum pending a “re-think” and further consultations with parents.
Murray points out that 2400 people — including parents — and 70 groups had input in the proposal.
“There is nothing in this curriculum to be afraid of. I think most people will get comfortable with this curriculum quickly,” he says.
But while Murray supports the new curriculum, he admits that a new round of consultations could result in changes.
“There could be changes. There may not be changes. We don’t know. But do we want to listen? Yes.”
The now-shelved 2010 sex ed policy has won the endorsement of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, Toronto’s medical officer of health, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the AIDS Committee of London, the LGBTQ Parenting Network, Queer Ontario and Egale Canada, among others.
While age-appropriate sexual education and a recognition of gay families are non-negotiable, Murray says he’s willing to budge on other things in the more-than-200-page document.
In terms of timing, Murray would prefer the issue be resolved quickly, but he says it will more likely linger until after the October 2011 election.