A website was just forced to scrub a list of ‘anti-woke’ Canadian school board candidates

Here's what you need to know about its wretched anti-LGBTQ2S+ roots and how it could impact Ontario’s municipal election

A group aiming to get anti-LGBTQ2S+ trustees elected to school boards has removed its list of “approved candidates” from a website days before the Ontario municipal election.

“Despite being parent volunteers, we have been (advised) by municipal clerks that our recommendations are not able to continue on a hosted site unless all persons register with every municipal elections clerk in Ontario, which we are not willing to do,” a message on VoteAgainstWoke.ca read Friday afternoon. 

Instead, the group is now circulating a Google Doc on social media with the same information. 

The Vote Against Woke website was registered on Sept. 21 and hosted a list of candidates that originally started on a site called Blueprint for Canada, which Xtra contributor Tobin Ng wrote about earlier this month and has since been covered by news agencies across the country. Blueprint’s candidates list was also scrubbed earlier this week, with site founder Peter Wallace telling Press Progress he took it down over concerns the site could violate election laws. Ontario’s election regulations prohibit the pooling of resources between municipal candidates.

Wallace, a school trustee candidate in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, told a right-wing website in August that he developed Blueprint for Canada with help from activists and people sitting on school boards with the aim of pushing “diversity, equity and inclusion” out of schools.

Lyra Evans, believed to be the first openly trans school trustee in Canada, is among those who has spoken out about the platform, which features policy positions that reject critical race theory and “gender ideology.”

“The fact that we now have multiple [candidates] running on explicitly anti-trans platforms is troubling,” she told Xtra earlier this month.

Evans, who is running for reelection in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board race, said she’s spoken with people in B.C. who have noticed a similar trend. Groups such as ParentsVoice BC and the Ontario-based Campaign Life Coalition—many of which have ties to the far-right—have focused their attention on classrooms, backing anti-trans school board candidates and rallying parent support.

Despite that, Teri Westerby won a school board seat in Chilliwack, British Columbia, last week, becoming the first out trans man ever to be elected to a school board in Canada. 

For Evans, the anti-trans movement attempting to take over school boards parallels an increase in anti-trans rhetoric across Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. She says trans people are presented as a wedge issue, with anti-trans activists frequently accusing trans people of “grooming” and influencing children—a narrative that has long been weaponized against LGBTQ2S+ communities. 

 

For more information about Monday’s election in Ontario, you can visit this page.

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Politics, Power, News, Ontario, Toronto

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