Published: Sat, September 03, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ontario Tories win Toronto byelection after flip-flopping on sex ed

Ontario Tories win Toronto byelection after flip-flopping on sex ed

Brown said the "first thing" he did when he saw media reports about the letter on Friday was to compose a series of tweets to clarify his position - though none directly refuted the idea that he would scrap the Liberal curriculum.

But Brown now says that is not correct and he was unaware of the letter before it was distributed.

Candidates include Piragal Thiru for the Liberal Party, Raymond Cho for the Progressive Conservatives and Neethan Shan for the NDP.

"What we see here is a classic Mexican stand-off; the Liberal and Progressive Conservative candidates have each carved out an equal sized patch of the popular vote and the hill they're fighting for is the vote that swings on the sex education curriculum", Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said in a press release.

"I realize some of my supporters in Scarborough are passionate about this issue", he said.

"Once again Patrick Brown demonstrated his unprincipled leadership by pandering to anti-sex ed activists a week before a byelection concludes, proving once again that he will say anything to anybody if he thinks that it is politically expedient", the Liberals charged. They suggested the reversal message did not reach as many voters as the original one.

Editorials from both left- and right-leaning media outlets roundly criticized Brown, saying the incident either shows he can't control his team, he can't pick a lane on a relatively straightforward issue or was just telling voters what they wanted to hear.

Matthews was also critical of the story Brown offered Monday to explain the letter that went out late last week to voters saying he would scrap the sex-ed curriculum.

Brown says the curriculum changes are "hot topics" in the riding, and that while parents should be consulted, it doesn't mean "opening the door to intolerance".

The curriculum was updated previous year, for the first time since 1998, but some parents complained that same-sex relationships, gender identity and masturbation were being taught.

Scarborough-Rouge River was a long-held Liberal riding, but Premier Kathleen Wynne's popularity has been sinking, mid-way through her mandate.

The riding had been a Liberal stronghold with Balkissoon holding the seat since 2005.

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