'Put it back and apologize': Toronto Catholic School Board faces backlash after removing LGBTQ+ resource from its website


The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is being accused of “validating” homophobia after removing an LGBTQ+ organization from its list of school board resources.

On Jan. 8, LGBT YouthLine, a youth-led organization that supports Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (2SLGBTQ) Ontarians under 29, was notified by the TCDSB that their organization was to be removed from the school board’s resources webpage.

According to an YouthLine press release published Monday to social media, the decision to remove the group from the school board website due to “inappropriate material” on YouthLine’s Website. An email from the Chief of Mental Health Strategy and Staff Well-Being of the TCDSB informing the group of their removal included a link to an article about their organization published on Corriere Canadese, an Italian-Canadian daily news outlet, entitled “TCDSB website hosts Pornographic site defended by trustees.

The article, written by Joe Volpe, a former MP for Eglinton-Lawrence with well documented anti-LGBTQ+ views, referred to YouthLine’s website as a “recruitment site” for children and a “smut site” that “promotes the purchase and sale of porno paraphernalia for sexual activities.”

Volpe references a blog by Tony Kiar, a retired educator and principal, who has been allegedly working on an “exposé” of YouthLine for more than a year in an attempt to have the TCDSB remove the organization as a resource on its website. Kiar runs multiple blogs which frequently uses faith to espouse homophobic sentiments as well as COVID-19 skepticism and refers to white privilege and critical race theory as “poisonous ideology.”