CBC falsely alleges that Ottawa school board candidates are 'transphobic'

A senior investigative journalist interviewed two Ottawa candidates who have been accused of being "anti-trans" for the article published on Oct 20, but curiously chose to leave out almost all of what the candidates told him, and according to one candidate, grossly distorted the little that was included.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) published a deeply one-sided article recently about alleged "anti-trans" school board trustee candidates which it claimed are running on platforms seeking to roll back protections for students who believe themselves to be transgender in the upcoming elections in Ontario.

A senior investigative journalist interviewed two Ottawa candidates who have been accused of being "anti-trans" for the article published on Oct 20, but curiously chose to leave out almost all of what the candidates told him, and according to one candidate, grossly distorted the little that was included.

The CBC piece suggests that there is a "concerted effort by conservative lobby groups to undo policies aimed at addressing systemic discrimination" and that there is a push to end "inclusive sex education."

"For weeks, some candidates in Ottawa, Waterloo, Hamilton, among other places in Ontario, have been using transphobic rhetoric in public, portraying gender-inclusive sex education as an attempt to indoctrinate their children," the article reads.

In the article, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board candidate Shannon Boschy is reported as saying that he believes Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum was partly to blame for the rise in transgender and non-binary identifying students, and that he compared non-binary genders to a disorder.

"I did not say the sex-ed curriculum was responsible," said Boschy in a statement to The Post Millennial. "I said unquestionable policies and practices put in place by trans activists needed to be questioned because of obvious and unexplainable spikes in the number of trans-identified kids."

Boschy also said that he had no idea where the journalist got the idea that he compared being non-binary to a disorder. He said he spoke about the high rates of psychiatric comorbidities are being reported by pediatric gender clinics all over the world, including the soon-to-be-closed Tavistock gender clinic in England, and how these clinics often ignore the co-existing mental health issues when treating young people with gender dysphoria. 

This phenomenon is real and was observed by Dr Hilary Cass, former President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, while conducting an independent review of the youth gender service commissioned by the National Health Service. 

"Another significant issue raised with us is one of diagnostic overshadowing – many of the children and young people presenting have complex needs, but once they are identified as having gender-related distress, other important healthcare issues … can sometimes be subsumed by the label of gender dysphoria," said Cass in the interim report published earlier this year, a report that it would appear the senior investigative journalist for the CBC has not bothered to read.

Chanel Pfahl, also running for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, told The Post Millennial that the CBC didn’t include any part of the interview she gave, instead choosing to include an old quote from a previous article.

"In the last few months, I have been smeared in the media multiple times," Pfahl said in a statement to The Post Millennial. "I’ve been called all kinds of things: far-right, racist, homophobic, and transphobic, even a white nationalist."

"The truth is I’m a centrist who wants kids not to judge others by skin colour, and I want them to grow up healthy and happy."

She also said she is opposed to teaching children that their feelings are what make them boys or girls.

"Once upon a time, a young girl who felt more masculine could understand that she was a masculine girl, and that she was just fine the way she was," Pfahl continued. "Nowadays, these same girls are learning that feeling masculine means they ARE boys on the inside. How is it compassionate to teach a child that they were born wrong?"

In his interview with the CBC, Boschy talked about the sudden surge of young people presenting to gender clinics in the past decade, since the dawn of the smartphone and social media.

"I believe this is a social contagion, like anorexia is socially contagious, bulimia is socially contagious," explained Boschy to the CBC. "Girls particularly are susceptible to this…I’ve heard form parents and from teachers all across the city where 20 percent of kids in the classroom are identifying as transgender, or gender-nonconforming, or non-binary." He compared this to past figures which show gender dysphoria historically afflicted 1 in 5000 to 1 in 10,000 people, the majority of whom were male.

"According to Statistics Canada, fewer than one percent of Canadians born between 1997 and 2006 identify as transgender or non-binary," is all the CBC article had to say about this, seemingly dismissing everything Boschy had to say on the theory of social contagion.

Again, perhaps if this investigative journalist writing about the gender issue had read the interim report of the Cass review, he would know that Boschy was well-informed. Cass noted that there had been "significant changes in the numbers and case-mix of children and young people being referred" to the Tavistock gender clinic and "this increase in referrals has been accompanied by a change in the case-mix from predominantly birth-registered males presenting with gender incongruence from an early age, to predominantly birth-registered females presenting with later onset of reported gender incongruence in early teen years." Canadian gender clinics have witnessed the same change.

Boschy also explained to the CBC how schools in Ottawa and across Canada have privacy policies in place which require teachers to keep a child’s social transition, the change of name and pronouns, a secret from parents. He went on to explain that social transition is widely recognized by experts as being a "serious and significant psychological intervention" and that he doesn’t believe teachers should be withholding such important information from parents. 

CBC chose to leave all that out and instead include a comment from Fae Johnstone, an Ottawa trans activist who wants Canadian women who don’t subscribe to gender identity ideology "so vilified they don’t dare speak their views publicly, let alone act on them." Johnstone believes transgender students are best placed to determine how and when they come out, which ignores the seriousness of the medical pathway social transition sets these young people on.

Dr Hilary Cass warned "it is important to view [social transition] as an active intervention because it may have significant effects on the child or young person in terms of their psychological functioning," and cautioned that it "is not a neutral act."

Given the one-sided nature of the reporting on this extremely complex issue, many Ottawa voters will likely be going to the polls on Oct 24 lacking vitally important information about what these candidates actually stand for.


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