Doug Ford recently stated that he will do everything in his power to put an end to the controversial PCP Resolution R4 that seeks to put an end to the teaching of “gender identity theory” in schools.
The party policy was passed at a recent Ontario Progressive Conservative Party convention and was put forward by former leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen.
“The entire resolution was based on Ford’s very own policy on “gender identity theory” in the Wynne sex ed curriculum. Last winter, Ford suggested that much of the Wynne sex ed was nothing more than “liberal ideology”, and when pressed to provide details, he gave the example of “gender identity theory”. That was in February. Now it is November. What has changed?” Tanya Granic Allen told The Post Millennial.
The policy, Resolution R4, labels the teaching of gender identity theory as “Liberal ideology” and criticizes the theory for being “unscientific”. With its approval, the resolution is now set to be debated by delegates at next year’s PCP convention.
Doug Ford says the matter is closed
“It came from the floor and it’s non-binding, so it’s done,” Premier Ford said on Monday when asked about the motion.
Since its passage the resolution has been riddled with controversy from both within and outside the party.
The Minister of Education, Lisa Thompson said that the resolution “has nothing at all to do with government policy”. Since the election, Thompson was put in charge of handling the public education sex-ed repeal which was a central policy promise in Doug Ford’s election campaign.
“I doubt that this is really from Doug Ford, but from his Chief of Staff, Dean French. Dean seems to be calling the shots in that government, for good or ill (mostly ill),” said Tanya Granic Allen.
Dean French has been somewhat of a trump card for the Ford government. Before he became Doug Ford’s Chief of Staff, French was a successful business man and a relatively unknown member in the party.
But a feature article by The Globe and Mail that interviewed 20 PC party insiders revealed a different side of Mr. French, suggesting he was “at least as outspoken and aggressive as Mr. Ford” when tabling meetings. According to the report, French rules staff appointments with an iron fist and has an uncomfortable amount of power at Queens Park.
Tanya Granic Allen says this is a fight against “authoritarians” in the party
As the originator of the proposal, Tanya Granic Allen has had her fair share of controversy and many have seen her as the representative voice of social conservatives within the party.
After the hasty leadership race, Doug Ford ousted Tanya Granic Allen as a candidate for comments she made in a video that he perceived as “irresponsible”.
Social conservatives have always had a tenuous relationship within the provincial and federal party so when she was asked about whether Doug Ford’s decision was representative of a greater division, Granic Allen had this to say:
“Not really. Of course such splits will always be there, but the real division here is between “democratic conservatives” and old style “authoritarians”. Dean French and, perhaps to some extent, Doug Ford himself, seem to have a bit of an authoritarian bent.”
This is not the first time Premier Ford has been accused of an authoritarian-style leadership. This summer, when Ford moved forward with his plan to slash the size of city council, Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath suggested Doug Ford was behaving like a “dictator”.
Tanya Granic Allen took to Twitter on Monday to echo some of these sentiments and shared a video of Doug Ford allegedly “flip-flopping on this issue”.
Doug Ford isn’t happy about the PC Party resolution that opposes “gender identity theory”. But in last winter’s leadership campaign, Doug dismissed this theory as “liberal ideology”. Is Doug now flip-flopping on this issue? #ONpoli #onpoli @fordnation https://t.co/DLSvm5BVax
— Tanya Granic Allen (@TGranicAllen) November 19, 2018
“…they claim to be “for the people” but in reality they have no respect for democracy. They have shown contempt for what the “people” have to say when they actually speak,” said Tanya Granic Allen. “They also have shown a disregard for other, more public democratic institutions. Consider the way that the government changed the rules of the game half-way through the recent municipal elections in Toronto.”
Party critics express outrage at the resolution calling it “dangerous”
Former Premier Kathleen Wynne released a statement about the resolution calling it “dangerous, reckless and irresponsible”.
Shocked that Doug Ford’s PC Party would pass such a hateful resolution. It is dangerous, reckless and irresponsible for a political party to endorse discrimination and tell people that how they identify themselves is not real. #onpoli #PCPO2018 #TransAwarenessWeek pic.twitter.com/87renPQvxn
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) November 17, 2018
The Conservative LGBT group “LGBTory” took to social media to urge the government to change its mind and later thanked Doug Ford for his stance on the issue.
— LGBTory Canada (@LGBToryCanada) November 19, 2018
NDP opposition leader, Andrea Horwath tweeted that she was “appalled” by the resolution and that it “drags our province backwards.”
I’m appalled that the Ford Conservatives would endorse a resolution that attacks trans people and their rights. #TransRightsAreHumanRights in Ontario, and New Democrats stand with LGBTQ people against this dangerous position that drags our province backwards. #TransAwarenessWeek
— Andrea Horwath (@AndreaHorwath) November 17, 2018
Despite the Premier’s position on the internal party policy, the resolution was passed by a majority of party members and it remains unclear how Premier Ford will fight the motion within his own party.
A recent poll by Campaign Research has shown Doug Ford’s approval ratings have fallen to 37% since his election. It is yet to be seen whether his recent comments will hurt or improve his approval ratings or relations with his own party.