News and Analysis

March For Our Education

On Saturday July 21st, hundreds of people gathered at the March For Our Education event at Queen’s Park in Toronto in opposition of Premier Doug Ford’s repeal of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum.

There was overwhelming condemnation of the government’s repeal of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum. A myriad of voices provided a comprehensive look at the negative effects of the repeal: the individual experiences of students; educators; experts in the field of sexual health; and LGBTQ2S+ activists.

Even if the government wishes to conduct a curriculum review, there is no need to repeal the existing on in the meantime. CCLA emphasized that the repeal is a dangerous and discriminatory act of government and that we would not hesitate to take the fight to the courts.


Highlights from the event

Watch CCLA’s summer student Erica McLachlan speaking out against the sex-ed repeal: 

Watch CCLA’s summer student Lea De Santis address the rally in French:

Watch the head organizer of March for Our Education Rayne Fisher-Quann’s speech:

Watch the Toronto Sun’s interview with speaker Li Koo:


in the news

Toronto Sun: Withdrawal of sex ed curriculum leaves students unprotected: protesters

“Erica McLachlan, a summer legal student with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association who spoke at Saturday’s rally, said the 2015 curriculum reflects the fact that the Human Rights Code prevents discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, while the 1998 curriculum predates legalized gay marriage.”


Lots of people gathering at the March For Our Education rally!

Student organizers welcoming the first speaker, Larissa Crawford

One of the organizers for March For Our Education: “To put things into perspective, this curriculum is older than me.”

Roza Nozari from The 519 speaking: LGBTQ+ students need to know they are worthy of belonging NOW.

Student organizer Frank Hong “we couldn’t find a protest online, so we created one!”

Farrah Khan: Sex-Ed saves lives, because people need to know they can say no when they do not want to do something. But, more importantly, people need to listen to “no.”

Carly Basian, Founder of My Sex Ed says telling the public that teachers will be teaching the 2014 curriculum is a roundabout way of saying it’s the 1998 curriculum.

T. Dot BANGERZ Brass Band bringing some musical advocacy to Queen’s Park!

Glen Canning emphasizes the difference the 2015 sex-ed curriculum, and its focus on consent, would’ve made for his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons.

Andrea Horwath says the repeal of sex-ed takes us back to the previous century. To a time before texting.

CCLA’s summer student Erica McLachlan “the repeal is not only an erasures of LGBTQ+ lives, voices and experiences. It is a dangerous and discriminatory act of government.”

Rayne Fisher-Quann, a 16 year old student, reading an open letter to our government: “the first time I was sexually harassed was in grade 7. Those boys needed the new curriculum… Every single person in this province, whether they know it or not, needs that 2015 curriculum.”

Li Koo “when you roll back education back to 1998…you don’t know what is happening”

Joy Lachica “educators stand in solidarity to teach consent circa 2015.”

Rachel Nelems from LeadNow “the response to ignorance is education.”


Announcing the 2018 Chernos Essay Contest Winners

About the Prize:
Each year, CCLET holds a high school essay competition in honor of the late Bernard Chernos, a civil libertarian, lawyer, and lover of lively debate. Students from across Canada are asked to respond to one of three questions dealing with a conflict of Charter rights and freedoms for a chance to win $500 and a copy of When Freedoms Collide, by CCLA General Counsel Emeritus, the late A. Alan Borovoy. The winning student’s school also receives a book and cheque for $250. This year the prize celebrates its 17th anniversary.

Congratulations to the 2018 winners for their ability to think critically about challenging dilemmas in a democratic society, and balance competing interests in a compelling fashion!

1st place:

Keonhee Lee from Coquitlam, British Columbia
Essay on the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons’ policy on mandatory effective referrals

2nd place:

Mackenzie Tran from Calgary, Alberta
Essay on the Canada Border Service Agency’s procedure for demanding social media passwords from travellers

3rd place:

Tyler Gerald from Toronto, Ontario
Essay on whether or not the public library should ban certain groups from renting library space

4th place:

Harman Virk from Brampton, Ontario
Video on whether or not the public library should ban certain groups from renting library space

For more information about CCLET’s annual Chernos Essay Competition, click here.