Ontario fights legal challenge over provincial government’s decision to repeal sex-ed curriculum

TORONTO – Ontario is asking a court to dismiss a legal challenge against the government’s decision to repeal an updated sexual-education curriculum.

Both the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario allege the Progressive Conservative government’s decision is unconstitutional, saying it puts students at risk.

But lawyers for the government argue in a document filed ahead of a Wednesday hearing that the Constitution doesn’t entrench any particular curriculum or set out what sexual health topics must be taught.

They say the minister of education has the responsibility to set policy in Ontario’s public schools, not the courts or the groups challenging the curriculum repeal.

The previous Liberal government updated the sex-ed curriculum in 2015, including lessons warning about online bullying and sexting, but opponents, especially social conservatives, objected to parts addressing same-sex relationships and gender identity.

The government argues that if the curriculum prior to 2015 didn’t infringe the charter, it can’t be unconstitutional to return to it.

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