GUEST HOST: David Menzies
In sleepy Aurora, Ontario, a storm was brewing at the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) headquarters. The gathered members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community were part of an event that would be remembered as something more akin to a discordant symphony than a meeting.
The board was set to decide whether to raise the Pride flag on their properties. However, the vote ended with a majority of trustees denying the proposition.
This decision led to heated reactions from the LGBTQ+ community, prompting some to retreat into an isolated meeting room – a sight as unexpected as tears at a baseball game.
On the other side, several Catholic parents of Catholic school children expressed their joy at the decision. The upholding of traditional values was a rare victory for them amidst a climate where they perceive school boards to be leaning too far into politically correct territory.
The aftermath of the decision stirred a debate that reached beyond the meeting room. Was the LGBTQ+ community so vulnerable that the denial to fly their symbol was seen as an outright hate crime? Was this decision a direct attack on their identity or simply a refusal to take part in what is perceived as forced symbolism?
The evolution of the Pride flag has been a continuous journey. The original design, as simple and vibrant as a rainbow, has undergone transformations that some consider damaging to its aesthetic.
Additions were made to represent the trans community, the black and brown communities, and other elements that seemingly deviated from the initial concept of gender identity and sexual orientation.
A new version of the flag spotted at a Starbucks in Whitby, Ontario, added yellow and a purple circle, further complicating the design. These continued changes led some critics to argue that the symbol is losing its originality and becoming a confused mix of colors and symbols, much like an overdesigned jersey.
This series of debates raises essential questions about flags and their symbolic power. Isn't the national flag, the Canadian flag in this case, supposed to represent all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity? Isn't a flag's ultimate purpose to unify rather than divide?
On the topic of celebrations, there is another point of contention: the extension of Pride from a day to a week, then to a month, and now a season. How does this scale of recognition compare to other significant events, like Remembrance Day, which is confined to a single day?
Among the main actors of this drama is Paolo de Buono, a Toronto Catholic District School Board teacher. Accused of pushing his progressive beliefs onto his students, De Buono's actions have provoked both support and criticism.
His practices, such as bringing drag queen story hour to a Catholic school and creating a so-called Rainbow Room, have caused considerable controversy.
In the midst of all this, the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, seems to be a bystander, offering no intervention in the escalating situation. His inaction is raising concerns about his commitment to upholding educational standards.
The decision by the YCDSB was a victory for traditionalists and a defeat for advocates of the Pride flag. However, this debate is far from over. As the media continues to scrutinize the event, the pressure on the YCDSB to reverse their decision could intensify.
The late, great Tina Turner scored a number one hit song with, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” But these days, when it comes to the tyrannical left, their theme stands by seems to be “What’s Democracy Got to Do with it?”
GUEST: Sue Ann Levy, joins the show to speak on her latest piece on the culture of fear and silence at the Toronto District School Board.