Ontario taxpayers funded a multi-million dollar “identity-based census,” Access to Information documents show.
An email sent on behalf of Patrick Case, who makes $208,294 per year working as the Assistant Deputy Minister and Education Equity Secretariat, detailed the 2021-2022 funding for student demographic data projects.
His e-mail reads:
“I am writing to update you on the 2021-22 PPF funding for demographic data gathering. We are aware that many boards have collected – or are in the process of collecting – student demographic data, and other boards have yet to engage in this work.
As this work expands in boards across the province, the benefits of student demographic data to school boards’ efforts to identify and dismantle systemic barriers are evident. As a foundation for board improvement and equity planning, all boards are expected to be in the process of collecting voluntary student demographic data by September 2022.
To support this focus, 2021-22 PPF for Demographic Data Gathering will be for student demographic data collection and/or analysis projects only. Given that boards are at different stages in the student demographic data process, the ministry will be differentiating the level of funding available to boards as follows:
· $55,000 if your board has not previously received funding for a student demographic data project;
· $35,000 for other boards.”
According to People for Education, there are roughly 72 school boards in Ontario, which means this program cost the Ministry of Education anywhere from $2,500,000 to $3,900,000 dollars.
Previously, it was reported that young school aged children were being asked to disclose their gender identity and sexual orientation by way of a data collection survey put out by school boards across Ontario.
This particular census was an “identity-based census” which is supposed to “enable school and system leaders to address barriers to student success in keeping with Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan.”
It asks mundane questions like cultural background and language spoken at home before getting right into the nitty gritty of gender identity and sexual orientation of children as young as grade four – which is age nine or ten, roughly.
The options for gender identity ranged from female, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, male, non-binary, questioning, transgender female, transgender male, two-spirit, etcetera.
For sexual orientation, listed options included identifying as straight, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer questioning, asexual, pansexual, or otherwise.
Children could select any or all that applied.