Just The Facts: Ontario’s Sex Ed Curriculum

Ontario’s provincial government is currently in the midst of building a new Health and Physical Education curriculum, which includes subjects such as mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis. This move has resulted in a widespread, vocal public response, and has prompted the province to invite public input through a consultation – which is open until 15th December.

Come out to attend our expert panel, moderated discussion and Q&A for just the facts: what are the differences between the old and new Ontario Sex Ed curricula?

We are very pleased to announce Dr. Lauren Bialystok (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto), Dr. Sarah Flicker (Associate Professor, York University) and Dr. David Brennan (Associate Professor, University of Toronto) will be participating in our panel and Maleeha Sheikh (CityNews) will be moderating the event.

This event is being hosted by the Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) and RCIScience, with support from the University of Toronto’s Student Initiative Fund.

If you have a question you would like to ask the panelists please submit them to: https://goo.gl/forms/mdCliMWdVX0LLff62

Sign up for the event on EvenBrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/just-the-facts-ontarios-sex-ed-curriculum-tickets-52611471327 

Please note that we do have a code of conduct at our events. Please see the FAQ below for details. 

Our Panelists

Dr. Lauren Bialystok

Lauren Bialystok received her BA in Philosophy and German from the University of Pennsylvania, before completing her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Toronto. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Social Justice Education in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and Faculty Associate at the University of Toronto Centre for Ethics. She is the author of numerous research publications on the topics of feminism, social justice education, and is a vocal expert on the topic of sex education in Ontario. Previously, Lauren has served as a consultant to the University of Toronto Health Network, and a policy analyst for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She was recently the recipient of a SSHRC grant to investigate and assess the aims of the 2015 Sex Education Curriculum.

Dr. Sarah Flicker

Sarah Flicker is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean Students, Teaching, and Learning in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.  She is engaged in an exciting program of research that focuses on the engagement of youth and other actors in environmental, sexual, and reproductive justice. More broadly, she is interested in community-based participatory methodologies and is active on a variety of research teams that focus on adolescent sexual health, and responding to gender-based violence in Canada and South Africa.Recently, she has published in the areas of health promotion, sexuality,ethics, decolonizing methodologies, participatory visual methods and community-based participatory research methods. Her research has informed policy at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.  Sarah and her teams have won a number of prestigious awards for youth engagement in health research.  Sarah is a straight, white, middle class, able-bodied,Jewish, cisgender female, of immigrant/settler descent who tries to understand the pervasive effects of privilege, and her roles and responsibilities as a treaty person. She is an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

Dr. David J. Brennan

David J. Brennan, PhD, Associate Professor, OHTN HIV Research Chair; Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, is a scholar who focuses on community-based research that examines issues related to the sexual health of LGBT populations, particularly gay and bisexual men. He has examined how early life bullying and violence create ongoing risks for sexual minorities and the ways in which intertwining epidemics known as syndemics, create increased risk for social, physical, mental, sexual health problems. Professor Brennan’s work includes examining how people use online apps for socio-sexual connections as well as for health education and service access. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and community reports in in his areas of interest and research expertise.

Our Moderator

Maleeha Sheikh

Maleeha Sheikh joined the CityNews team in July 2018. At a very young age she knew she wanted to be a reporter because she loved to ask questions and get to the bottom of things. Maleeha has an Honours degree in Professional Writing from York University and a diploma in Broadcasting Journalism from Seneca College. Since graduating in 2010, Maleeha has worked as a web journalist, morning show reporter, videographer for a number of local outlets in TV. Maleeha was born in Toronto and in her spare time she loves to read, work out, try new restaurants and most importantly spend time with her little boy and husband.


  1. What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
  2. What accessibility accommodation are available?
  3. Is there a code of conduct?
  4. How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
  5. Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
  6. Can I submit a question to the panel?

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

The closest Subway Stop is Museum. Walk south from the subway exit on the west side of University Avenue, cross Hoskin Avenue and continue south on Queen’s Park Circle about 30m. Take the pathway leading to the right into the campus. Go down the steps and you will be right in front of Hart House. The accessible entrance is located on the west side of the building south of Hoskin Ave.

Accessible TTC Route
Before you begin your subway trip call the TTC 24-hour Information Line at 416 393-INFO (4636) and press 5 to confirm whether or not the elevators or escalators you plan to use on your trip are operating or scheduled for maintenance.

Elevators are available at the St. George subway station. The Elevator Service Status Line is 416 539-LIFT (5438). Press 7 for multilingual services.

From St. George subway, take the Bedford Exit:

  • Head south on Bedford Rd. toward Bloor St W. 78 meters
  • Turn right at Bloor St. W. 77 meters
  • Turn left at Devonshire Pl. 0.4 km
  • Turn left at Hoskin Ave. 0.1 km
  • Turn right on Tower Road. Follow the ramp entrance into Hart House on the west side of the building.

What accessibility accommodation are available?

Accommodations include:

  • Elevator
  • Accessible washrooms on main floor outside the Great Hall and in Hart House Theatre lobby
  • Accessible counters and doorways at the Information Hub, the Hart House Theatre lobby and Hart House Tickets. 
  • Accessible west entrance ramp off Tower Road
  • Accessible east entrance ramp off Queen’s Park Crescent 
  • Drop-off Parking Pad for accessible east entrance via the 18 Queen’s Park Crescent West delivery entrance

Is there a code of conduct?


TSPN is dedicated to providing a harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any activities, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Event participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or asked to leave the event at the discretion of the event organizers.

This code of conduct was adapted from the confcodeofconduct.com.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please contact to.scipolicynetwork@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No! We simply need your name to check you in to the event.

Can I submit a question to the panel?

Definitely! You can submit your question here: https://goo.gl/forms/mdCliMWdVX0LLff62

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