Following an email discussing concerns over a proposed amendment to the Ontario Teachers College Act that would see teachers able to reapply for their teaching license following a conviction on sexual assault or child pornography after a 5 year wait period. The Honourable Member Rob Leone has read some of your stories right here and stood in the Ontario legislature during the second reading of Bill 103 PROTECTING STUDENTS ACT, 2014 and said-
We’ve talked to some victims of sexual crimes in the past. Very recently, I was in an email exchange with a gentleman who has been a past victim of a sexual crime, and what he wanted me to assure members of the public and people who have been victims of these crimes is that we would do the most to protect those people. They have undergone life-altering experiences in a very negative context. Their psychological and mental health and their mental well-being has changed as a result of these sexual activities, and we have to reassure those people that we are behind these victims. I think what we’re saying, when we’re deliberating over this bill, is that we have to take some concern and some time to really reinforce this idea that we are there to protect the victims.
This gentleman is part of a network of 12,000 men who have been sexually abused in some way, shape or form. They’re heart-wrenching stories, certainly stories that we don’t want any of our children to face as they grow up. It’s sometimes very troubling for parents to comprehend that these acts actually happen to kids, and we have to make sure that we’re doing our utmost to reinforce their protection.
Let’s not forget the victims of these child sex acts and crimes. Let’s not forget about the life-altering experience to the negative that these victims have had—thousands, tens of thousands of victims across the province and across the country. We cannot lose sight of what happens to them. We must do whatever we can to make sure that those acts do not happen to another child. We can do that by preventing those very people who have engaged in those acts from teaching in front of a classroom of young kids ever again. We would like to see this Legislature come out with a forceful statement on behalf of victims of sex crimes to suggest that these teachers do not teach in front of a classroom ever again, and until that time we cannot support this legislation.