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Ontario’s Education Minister Has Emerged From Hiding After Dodging Journalists for 41 Days

Ontario’s education minister had been AWOL since mid-August

After more than 40 days and 40 nights, Ontario’s Education Minister has finally emerged from hiding to briefly talk to journalists about sex-ed.

Lisa Thompson, Doug Ford’s point person on repealing the province’s sex-ed curriculum, has been avoiding journalists for well over a month.

That changed this week when Thompson surprised reporters announcing she had quietly launched consultations on the province’s sex-ed curriculum last week.

Thompson told reporters the Ford government will have more information on the matter, but that information on the consultations will be rolled out in “phases.”

Even before a confusing interview this summer in which she repeatedly referred to a non-existent 2014 sex-ed curriculum, Thompson has been “unavailable” to answer basic questions about the Ford government’s controversial plan to repeal Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum.

Even a few weeks ago, as high school students across Ontario walked out of class in protest, the education minister had no comment whatsoever.

CBC News’ Meagan Fitzpatrick has been keeping track of Thompson’s unavailability since mid-August, noting the minister “has been unavailable since Aug. 21.”

According to Fitzpatrick, Thompson refused to speak to journalists every single day for over a month:

What has Thompson been up to in the mean time?

For one thing, Ford’s education minister has been busy visiting turkey farms:

Ford’s education minister has also toured chicken farms:

And Ford’s education minister also visited a wizardry festival:

In July, Thompson confirmed the Ford government would make good on a campaign promise made to its hardline social conservative base by repealing it, even though she previously defended the existing curriculum.

Later in the summer, the government issued a press release announcing the creation of a snitch line allowing people to lodge complaints against school teachers who aren’t following the 20-year-old sex-ed curriculum — the snitch line allows anyone to file multiple complaints anonymously from anywhere in the world.

 

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