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2336 Bloor Street West

PO Box 84556
Toronto, ON M6S 4Z7
Informing and Mobilizing Catholic Voters

For immediate release

May 27, 2014

Waterloo Trustees Betray Parents on Pride Parade

Trustees in the Waterloo Catholic Board approved a motion to support the provincial
Catholic teachers’ association’s decision to attend the World Pride Parade at a meeting May
26. Parents as First Educators (PAFE) President, Teresa Pierre, PhD, said “PAFE is shocked that
Waterloo Catholic Trustees chose to ignore the concerns of their voters in Waterloo who asked
them to oppose the union’s decision to march in the Parade. The Waterloo board appeared to
forget their first duty is to their constituents and not the union.”
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) voted to participate in
the World Pride Parade in Toronto at its Annual General Meeting in March, 2014. In April The
Catholic Register reported that Cardinal Thomas and Bishop Gerard Bergie of St. Catharine’s
had tried to convince OECTA President James Ryan to withdraw from the parade but failed to
achieve resolution of the problem. Cardinal Collins opposed the decision because it
demonstrated “an inadequate and mistaken” understanding of what the Church teaches about
sexuality and marriage.
Parents As First Educators (PAFE) put up an online petition protesting the union
decision addressed to Catholic Trustees, who are the direct employers of the teachers and the
ones broadly and legally responsible for ensuring the promotion of the Catholic religion in the
The petition was signed by over 1000 people in its first week and currently has over
4400 signatures. The story made headlines across the province the week of April 21 in news
outlets including the Sun and Metro media chains and the Huffington Post, and saturated talk
radio and TV. Wei Chen memorably put OECTA President James Ryan on the spot on Metro
Morning on CBC.
Catholic boards in York and Halton have so far heard motions in response to OECTA’s
move, with other votes scheduled in upcoming weeks.
Waterloo area parent and PAFE spokesman Francis Doyle requested Trustees to take
action to prevent confusion among students over what the Church teaches about proper support
for LGBT students.

2336 Bloor Street West
PO Box 84556
Toronto, ON M6S 4Z7
Informing and Mobilizing Catholic Voters

“We cannot allow our teachers to undermine the teachings of our faith, and we cannot
allow our students to be given a message by our teachers that leads them away from the
truth as presented by the Church.”

Trustee Frank Johnson put forward a counter-proposal seconded by Trustee Anthony
Piscitelli to approve the union’s decision to be in the Pride Parade, which was amended to state
that the board would “respect OECTA’s right to make its own decision on support for the LGBT

The sole dissenting Trustee Greg Reitzel said he was disappointed “that the very people
entrusted with protecting Catholic education in our region do not know our faith well enough to
defend it."
Pierre agreed saying: “The board’s decision substitutes something other than Catholic
faith to guide board decisions on support for the LGBT community. It has replaced Catholic
morality with what they call “tolerance” and allowed the faith to be marginalized in the Waterloo

Pierre said the vote’s results would be remembered in the upcoming Trustee
elections. “With the exception of Trustee Reitzel all of the Trustees in the Waterloo board
grossly neglected the interests of their voters. When Trustee elections come around in October
voters will remember which Trustee served the people who elect them to protect Catholic faith in
the board.”

About Parents as First Educators

Parents As First Educators (PAFE) holds Ontario Catholic Trustees accountable to taxpayers through
grassroots activism. We inform and mobilize over 15,000 supporters throughout Ontario. PAFE
monitors and intervenes to ensure Board officials keep their activities transparent to the public. We hold
them responsible for their actions and expect them to promote the teachings of the Catholic
Church. News from Parents As First Educators is available online at, on Twitter at
@pafe4 or at on Facebook.



Teresa Pierre, Ph.D., President
(416) 889-5396