A federally-funded toolkit touted by the government as providing “anti-racism education” in Canadian schools is being called “shockingly hateful” by Conservative MP and party leadership hopeful Leslyn Lewis.
“Our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to bring a hateful woke agenda into our classrooms,” Lewis said of the toolkit on Twitter on July 6.
“Children should be taught our history, the good & the bad. Our children should be raised to be ready for any & every conversation, not taught how to cancel each-other.”
The toolkit, “Confronting and Preventing Hate in Canadian Schools,” produced by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network was launched by Minister of Housing and Diversity, Ahmed Hussen, on June 29.
“This toolkit will provide a comprehensive anti-racism education program to help equip educators, parents and communities better identify, confront and prevent hate in schools across Canada,” said a June 29 news release from Canadian Heritage.
The toolkit classifies the former flag of Canada until 1965, the Red Ensign, as a “hate-promoting symbol.”
“Its usage denotes a desire to return to Canada’s demographics before 1967, when it was predominantly white,” says the toolkit. “Its usage in modern times is an indicator of hate-promoting beliefs.”
The document presents scenarios where an educator could face a “bigoted ideology” in the classroom and suggests how to respond, such as “A student argues in favour of a problematic politician or policy (eg. Trump’s wall) in classroom discussion.”
“Trump’s wall” refers to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s initiative to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to combat illegal immigration between the countries.
Another scenario presented in the toolkit involves a student asking why there are no “straight pride parades” or one that uses the Hitler salute in class.
Suggested approaches include telling the student the behaviour is unacceptable, telling the school administration, or meeting with the parents.
‘Infiltrate’ Conservative Party
The toolkit also says that the alt-right white nationalists “sometimes attempt to infiltrate mainstream Conservative political parties to influence change.”
“You paid for children to be told in school that mentioning our historic flag is racist, for their teachers to be told that if kids mention a ‘problem politician’ they must be confronted immediately, and that our country’s founding political party has been infiltrated by racists and white supremacists,” Lewis wrote on her website while referring to the literature as “a shockingly hateful toolkit.”
In the post, Lewis pointed to her good showing among western provinces during the last Conservative Party leadership race as evidence of western Canada’s rejection of racism, saying they “voted to have a black woman become their leader.”
“Yes, I have encountered racists in my life. But believe me: racists have no particular party affiliation,” Lewis wrote.
“But the woke left needs a boogeyman,” she added. “They can’t handle a society that wrestles with history, both the good and the bad.”
The government provided $268,400 to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) to help with its project.
“The increase of hate-motivated groups and ideologies is a disturbing reality in our country that we have a responsibility to address,” Hussen said in a statement announcing the launch of the toolkit.
“That is why our government is supporting the efforts of organizations like the Canadian Anti-Hate Network to create real solutions to confront and prevent hate.”
The chair of CAHN, Bernie Farber, said in the statement the toolkit will “prevent children from being groomed and recruited by white supremacists.”