by Kyle Duggan in Ottawa
Residents in a Don Valley West neighbourhood have been blitzed with flyers over the past week linking Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, and suggesting that a vote for Trudeau is a vote endorsing Wynne’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.
The blitz is going on in the Thorncliffe park neighbourhood in the Don Valley West riding, which has a large immigrant population and is where parents pulled their kids from school in protest over the new provincial sex education curriculum.
One flyer reads that it’s from Conservative candidate John Carmichael and poses the question: “Would you trust Justin Trudeau and Rob Oliphant to stand up to Kathleen Wynne’s plan to introduce sex-ed curriculum without consulting parents?” It also hits against other social issues, including the Liberals’ marijuana policy and stance on mandatory minimums.
Flyering has ramped up
Other flyers have been passed under apartment doors recently and handed out – many by the Thorncliffe Parents Association – which also made that connection. The issue has been a hot topic in that riding, which is also Wynne’s provincial riding.
Rabiya Asad, a Thorncliffe Park area resident, says flyers decrying the sex-ed curriculum have ramped up closer to the election.
“For the past two, three weeks we’ve been getting flyers pretty regularly,” she said. “We got like three just today and the election’s tomorrow.”
She thinks they’re effective because the issue – and messaging connecting the federal and provincial Liberals – simmered for so long.
“We’ve been getting the same messages again and again and again, really trying to drill it into people’s heads. And it’s weird because it’s not a federal issue.”
Don Valley West: A riding to watch
Don Valley West Liberal candidate Rob Oliphant told the Globe and Mail in September the curriculum needs to be looked at to make sure it’s taught in a sensitive way, after some Toronto-area Conservative candidates made the curriculum part of their campaigns. Media had reported that Kyle Seeback and Parm Gill previously also sent out campaign material and flyers with similar messages in Mississauga-Malton.
Meanwhile, Wynne hasn’t distanced herself from Toronto-area Liberal candidates and spent time this week campaigning with some – including Oliphant on Thursday. Wynne recently called the Conservatives’ use of the sex-ed curriculum as a federal wedge-issue “deplorable.”
On AM 640’s John Oakley show in Toronto on Friday, Carmichael said “it’s a wedge issue if you look at how hard she’s been stumping for Justin Trudeau,” and drew the issue back to a lack of consultation with parents.
Don Valley West will be a riding to watch on Monday – Carmichael defeated Oliphant by just 611 votes in 2011. If the new riding boundaries had been in effect, it would have been by 1,088 votes, or a 2.4 per cent margin, according to Pundits’ Guide.
Published in partnership with iPolitics.ca.