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Ontario Premier Doug Ford is threatening to discipline educators who don't follow his orders to use a 20-year-old sex-education curriculum.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Sex ed, circa 2018

Re Ford Extends Education Consultation Beyond Sex Ed (Aug. 23): Ontario Premier Doug Ford is quoted as having said “We will not tolerate anybody using our children as pawns for grandstanding and political games.”

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Pardon me? Has he looked in the mirror recently?

Is there no one in caucus to rein him in? Caroline? Christine?

Ann Sullivan, Peterborough, Ont.

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So the provincial Conservatives will establish a snitch line so people can “report” on teachers who appear not to be toeing the line.

Why not move on to all citizens reporting on any other citizen for anything, including telling Doug Ford jokes?

It’s how the Stasi operated.

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David McKee, Toronto

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Any parent who believes a teacher “is jeopardizing their child’s education by deliberately ignoring Ontario’s curriculum” should file a complaint? Is there a number to call if you believe teaching an outdated curriculum puts our children at risk?

Tom Scanlan, Toronto

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Teachers I know have always enhanced the written curriculum based on student interest in the subject matter and teachers’ own interests. Ontario curriculum documents, as far as I am aware, have never dictated what you can not teach.

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So I see teachers able to teacher and discuss consent, online bullying, sexting, gender identity, same-sex relationships and masturbation while still respecting the curriculum.

As a biology teacher, am I not allowed to talk about recent developments in biology if they are not specifically mentioned in the latest Science (2008, revised) Curriculum?

Peter Ostrom, Eganville, Ont.

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Will there be a Commissioner of Snitch-Line Abuse? Who knows, folks misusing the complaints website may be dealt with just as harshly as those being sex ed-snitched about – those using the site to advance a more enlightened curriculum, for example.

Those with concerns about Doug Ford’s “Finding Enemies Is Us” credo, with this phony crisis, should read John Semley’s column, The People Vs. Democracy Offers Intellectual Comfort In A pessimistic Time (Aug. 23). Our difficult historical time may not be unique in its importance, but as historian Timothy Snyder suggests in On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century, the history to be examined later is history made by us – by those in it. Prof. Snyder urges young people to begin to make history before politicians destroy it.

Shea Hoffmitz, Hamilton

Train Canadians instead

Re Saudi Medical Trainees Granted Extended Stay In Canada (Aug. 23): You report that Saudi medical trainees don’t take spots from Canadian medical graduates. I disagree: Foreign medical graduates use up valuable teaching opportunities that could be utilized to train Canadian specialists.

Medical training is a mentorship/apprenticeship. It takes many patient and/or surgical encounters, as well as close supervision and hands-on teaching, to provide the in-depth training to produce a medical or surgical specialist. Such resources are in short supply and these teaching opportunities are being purchased by the Saudis in order to train their specialists for a bargain price, the equivalent of US$76,000 a year.

As André Picard noted (No Winners In The Senseless Withdrawal Of Saudi Residents From Canadian Hospitals, Aug. 22), Canada can take advantage of this diplomatic situation by initiating a fund to train Canadian – rather than Saudi – graduates who will practise here for many years.

Lorne Weiner, MD, Ottawa

Pick your epithet

Re Something’s Rotten In Canadian Politics (Aug. 23): Konrad Yakabuski is right to be critical of Justin Trudeau – support for diversity and minorities is great, but only up to a point.

Minority communities are not homogeneous, they have conflicts within them based on the region of origin, education and success individuals have achieved in the host country.

Supporting a vocal section of a larger minority can backfire with the “silent majority” in that community. Similarly, constant talk of diversity does not improve the total picture when the majority feels put upon, as with the refugee situation in Quebec and Toronto.

Sudhir Jain, Calgary

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If there is a prize for stating the obvious in a headline, Something’s Rotten In Canadian Politics must be considered the odds-on favourite. The only real question is, “How did this happen?”

It may well have started when we chose to organize ourselves on either the left or the right of a political spectrum. The us-against-them dichotomy pretty much doomed any chance we would be able to muddle along as best we can together. Hyper-individualism and a bloated sense of self-importance has led us to the point where we now stand at the edge of a chasm, screaming abuse at those on the other edge, with no one noticing we’re all in danger of falling over.

The political left, choosing to see itself as “progressive,” dubs those on the right as Neanderthals and paints anyone who disagrees with them as racist/sexist/homophobic/pick your epithet. Justin Trudeau’s recent putdown of a heckler is a rather tame example. The right views the “loony left” as hopelessly out of touch with reality. The volume just keeps going up.

Harsh reality ought to have succeeded in getting us all to smarten up, but clearly it hasn’t happened. This strongly suggests reality will only continue getting harsher. If we could stop calling each other names, we might even learn something.

Steve Soloman, Toronto

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A letter writer states that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assumes that “Canadians accept his ideologies.” Perhaps your correspondent meant “ideology,” singular. That ideology is to oppose racism. If Canadians do not accept that, they should.

Roger Stein, Collingwood, Ont.

Pot for Dummies?

Re David Crosby Looks To Lend Name To Canadian Cannabis Market (Report on Business, Aug. 23): Singer/songwriter David Crosby has found the magic potion! He likes cannabis for fun, he likes it for sex, he likes it for going to a museum, he likes it for music and for “a whole lot of stuff.”

Well, I want what he’s having! How about housework? Will the dust bunnies become playful? Trouble is, there are a vast number of products out there. Which one is the future purveyor of the “Mighty Croz” brand using? Ingesting, smoking, vaping – which method?

I hope someone publishes Pot for Dummies; I’ll be the first to buy it.

Anne Fraser, Thornbury, Ont.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young … as one of our teenagers observed in the eighties, Crosby’s Still on Hash.

Michael Fuerth, Tecumseh, Ont.

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