Whoa, Canada – Don’t go all ‘murica on us

Our regular commentator Terry writes:

Up here in Ontario we are having a debate in our provincial legislature about revised sex education standards. It turned ugly, with a couple conservative members dabbling in homophobic innuendo and anti-evolution remarks.

The new sex ed standards would have riled conservative regardless, owing to their distrust of government handling of “moral” issues, but because the government is headed by an openly lesbian premier, some conservative voters are terrified the standards will teach homosexuality to children.

One conservative MPP couldn’t help but insinuate the premier’s lack of moral fitness — and he said it in the legislature (a definite no-no). The premier’s brilliant response will no doubt be taught in law schools going forward.

Tory MPP Rick Nicholls says he doesn’t believe in evolution | Toronto Star.

When Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls shouted in the legislature it’s “not a bad idea” to stop teaching evolution in schools, he wasn’t kidding.

The off-the-cuff remark during a heated debate over the new sex education curriculum landed Nicholls (Chatham—Kent—Essex) in hot water with Conservative colleagues and left him ridiculed by others.

The controversial quip came after Education Minister Liz Sandals — reacting to criticisms Tuesday from Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton about modernizing sex education — scolded that a Tory government “could opt out of teaching about evolution, too.”

That’s when Nicholls retorted “that’s not a bad idea” as catcalls died down.

He told reporters he doesn’t “believe in evolution”. What a very silly man.

Ontario Tories distance themselves from anti-evolution MPP CBC News.

His fellow Conservatives say that stance doesn’t help a party trying to rebuild after four consecutive election defeats. Well, it would if this was the US, methinks. Please Canada, we count on you to be America’s SMART hat. Don’t go all Creationist on us.

Tip: Terry the Censor

  13 comments for “Whoa, Canada – Don’t go all ‘murica on us

  1. Eric
    February 26, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    I’m glad to see the USA doesn’t have a monopoly on wacko politicians!! Why can’t they just have sex scandals like other countries’ politicians!!

    I actually used to be a reg republican until the party got highjacked by the religious right and went off the deep end.

    I just always wonder if these people actually don’t believe in evolution or if it’s done said to play to the ultra conservative base??

  2. Whiskyjack
    February 26, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    I hope to see this guy defeated in the next election. The last time there was a prominent creationist politician in Canada (Stockwell Day) people mocked him by waving Barney the dinosaur dolls. He got roundly defeated in an election for prime minister, but sadly retained a seat in Parliament.

  3. terry the censor
    February 26, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    > Please Canada, we count on you to be America’s SMART hat. Don’t go all Creationist on us.

    Fortunately, Nicholls’ colleagues quickly abandoned him, though that could have been a mere concern with optics, as Sharon notes.

    But we do have a few creationists: they tend to live in the midwest and in oil country (does that sound familiar?). As Whiskyjack states, Stockwell Day, a recent federal cabinet minister, believed the earth was 6000 years old and humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Day had the whole slate of regressive conservative views we associate with the US Bible belt, but he was such a doofus that no one much feared him. He had more prominence in satirical TV shows and mags than in hard news outlets.

    For those who are interested in the premier’s brilliant response to homophobic innuendo, check it out here:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/02/24/sex-education-debate-at-queens-park-gets-nasty.html

  4. padego
    February 26, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Lets not forget our glorious and somewhat paranoid PM who has nearly decimated all sciences within government (ocean sciences in particular) and seems to hold a somewhat creationist mindset. It’s going to be a scary election in 2016…

  5. spookyparadigm
    February 27, 2015 at 12:39 AM

    Until a few years ago, I too assumed Canada was smarter/less corrupt.

    Then Harper. Then Rob Ford.

  6. Perry Bulwer
    February 27, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    “… seems to hold a somewhat creationist mindset.”

    Whether Harper is a true believer or just using religion as a political tool is hard to know for certain. But he did join his wife’s church, the Canadian branch of the US Christian and Missionary Alliance, for some reason. Considering the strictly fundamentalist and evangelical tenets of that church, it is really no surprise he discounts scientific evidence when formulating public policy. After all, he chooses to attend a church that believes in creationism and rejects evolution, even theistic evolution, believes the Bible was verbally dictated by God and therefore without error, believes in faith healing, and believes Jesus was born of a virgin and will return any day now.

  7. Russ L
    February 27, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Probably giving away my age (don’t care), but when padego said ‘decimate’ my mind defaulted to the earlier meaning–to reduce by 10%. I know that it now more commonly means devastate, totally destroy or some such, but in my mind the transitioning of the word’s meaning is not yet complete. I can’t use the word at this point in time. Just had to tell someone. I also dislike the use of ‘transition’ as a verb and ‘at this point in time’ at any point in time. I feel less cranky now.

    On a more serious note: It seems that the creationists are not evolving. Also, they are not transitioning. Could be good. Could be not good. god only knows.

    Good luck with the election, padego. Unfortunately luck is a huge factor. How great it would be if we could always vote for what we deem to be the most qualified candidates instead of trying to insure the defeat of the least qualified.

    If this does not get posted I promise I will/will not feel decimated.

  8. padego
    February 28, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    TIL that decimate means “to reduce by 10%” which, living in a metric country, makes perfect sense and also proves that you’re never too old to learn something new.

    There’s something about Harper that I just cannot trust, he’s a big fan of omnibus bills where he can hide potentially devastating changes (see, I learned!!) behind walls of text. As I pointed out, it’s pretty much come down to Elizabeth May of the Green Party to challenge him as the other parties are ineffectual to say the least. She’s attracted a lot of attention for taking a stand on many issues and has helped to grow the Greens from a fringe element to where they could very well have a much stronger presence in parliament after the next election. All I can hope for is that there’ll be enough groundswell of Harper resentment across Canada to either boot him to the curb or at least place him in a minority situation…

  9. RandyRandy
    March 3, 2015 at 3:04 AM

    Memo to MPP Rick Nicholls and other Creationists: Your beliefs don’t matter when it comes to science, and belief won’t change facts. Evolution won’t go away just because religious nuts don’t believe in it. This isn’t Peter Pan, where you keep Tinkerbell alive by clapping to show you believe in fairies. This is Parliament, where the grownups make laws for the nation. Grow up already.

  10. RandyRandy
    March 3, 2015 at 3:16 AM

    One wonders if Nicholls and his fellow Creationists in Parliament refuse their annual influenza vaccinations, antibiotics and other government-funded medical treatments which are based on biological science and natural selection. If viruses don’t evolve, why the annual flu shots, Rick? Does God create new flu viruses for us every winter?

  11. Perry
    March 3, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    I’ve had this idiot as my federal political representative for the last decade or more. Hard to distinguish him from some of those Murican idiot politicians. He also questions vaccines and climate change. Fortunately, he’s not running in the upcoming election.

    “B.C. Conservative MP James Lunney tweets against evolution”

    Member of Parliament advises on Twitter to just ‘stop calling evolution fact!’

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/b-c-conservative-mp-james-lunney-tweets-against-evolution-1.2978984

  12. Russian Skeptic
    March 3, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Is not there a natural law of correlation between homophobia and anti-evolutionism? In my own country, each time when a creationist starts an anti-evolution argument on a forum, he/she is very likely to end up with cursing ‘faggots’ (sorry for citing their style as it is).

  13. Dr Rob_W
    March 4, 2015 at 12:20 AM

    I’m so , so glad I live in Melbourne, Australia. At our recent state election, all the Christian parties combined got less than 2.7% of the primary vote in the legislative assembly , while in the legislative council the most “powerful” of the Christian parties , Family First, was soundly trounced by the Australian Sex Party (yes we have one of those) with 2.68% (ASP) to 1.83% (FF).
    Melbourne is also the world’s most livable city (am I coming across as smug? Can’t argue with statistics) for several years running. Oh and our local library keeps the bibles in the Myths and Legends section. (Contrary to the Dewey decimal system. .. but no one has checked them out in years).

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