“Anti-Woke” Candidates Take Wins And Losses Across Ontario’s School Board Elections

In a race where the far-right tried to stack the deck, most candidates we followed did not take office.

Canadian Anti-Hate Network



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The results are in for Ontario’s municipal school board races. 

After the polls closed on Monday, we took a look at how candidates expressing far-right, transphobic, and homophobic views fared in their respective races. Despite widespread attempts to penetrate school boards, most of the candidates we covered meeting this description did not win their respective seats.

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Halton Region

  

Winning 51.09% of the vote in Halton Catholic District School Board’s Milton Wards 2 and 3, “pro-life” candidate Emma Murphy won the race by a resounding 19.49%. 

In her campaign, and on her social media, Murphy, like so many other anti-equity candidates, centres “parents choice.” According to her answers to Inside Halton’s candidate survey, one of Murphy’s top three issues is “Parental choice brought to the forefront.” 

She also told Inside Halton that “there should be less time spent on teaching the students political and social ideologies.” 

Adding later, she feels “Rather than labelling and dividing students into identity groups, I will work to promote the Biblical view that every student is made in God's image and therefore has intrinsic value.”

Murphy does not have much of a social media footprint. From her new and lightly used Twitter, she has liked numerous anti-equity tweets, including one referring to gender-affirming care as “actually chemical castration, puberty-blocking and surgical mutilation in certain cases.”

Winning in Oakville Wards 5 and 6, is Helena Karabela with 71.63% of the vote. Karabela is the only other incumbent candidate, besides Vincent Iantomasi, that anti-abortion and anti-2SLGBTQ+ lobby, the Campaign Life Coalition endorsed ahead of the election in Halton. 

CLC describes Karabela’s voting record as “exemplary” and lavishes praise for her “courageously” voting against raising the Pride Flag, and for introducing “a Sanctity of Life Fundraising motion that pro-abortion trustees eventually voted to kill based on a misguided interpretation of a regulation in the Education Act.” 

They also note that “She gave perfect answers to CLC's questionnaire in the run-up to the 2014 school board election and again during the 2022 election cycle.”

Like Iantomasi, Karabela was recently censured by the HCDSB, for violation of the Trustee Code of Conduct. She was barred from attending two meetings.

Lantomasi lost his race in Burlington Wards 1 and 2 with 40.51% of the vote.

Other CLC endorsed candidates that won a seat include Burlington Wards 3 and 6 voting in Xin Yi Zhang. Zhang earned 22.3 per cent of the vote, winning by a 2.73 per cent margin. Likewise, Oakville Wards 1, 2, and 3 voted 52.63 per cent for Rob Kennedy.

David Cherry, Rick Giuliani, Thomas Gwozdz and Omar Kayed, all CLC-approved candidates, did not manage to take a seat as trustee. 

 

Thames Valley

  

UPDATE: It was previously reported that Seth Allen had won an open school board seat by less than one per cent. Updated figures from the city now show he did not obtain enough votes to become a trustee. We apologize for any confusion.


In the Thames Valley District School Board’s Oxford County, first-time candidate Seth Allen failed in his bid to become a trustee.

According to his social media Allen is a truck driver. His platform centres around combating a lack of funding and opportunities for students at rural schools. 

He is also an apparent supporter of the PPC, having posted multiple endorsements of the far-right party publicly this year. Seth Allen is listed as the CEO of Haldimand Norfolk Brant Oxford PPC Association. 

He has also shared videos of conspiracy theorist and perennial political candidate, Mark Friesen confronting then-Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate Pierre Polievre with questions about the United Nations Agenda 2030 – a real initiative undertaken by the UN that is a central portion of multiple alleged plots relating to a one world government. 

“Pierre denied knowing about sustainable development and the 2030 agenda,” read the post’s caption, written by another PPC member. “It's official, he is a Globalist and a puppet. The PPC candidates are the only ones confronting this group.”

Also less than successful in their trustee bids, David Sabine – running for London Wards 1,11,12,14 – and  Claire Roberts – London Wards 7,8,9,10,13 – both lost.

  

Ottawa

    

The nation’s capital did not deliver for the candidates we covered. Each was defeated in their respective races, including Ottawa Catholic School Board incumbent Glen Armstrong. Armstrong earned 26.95 per cent of the vote, coming second last out of four candidates.

Ashley Darling lost her race in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board’s Zone 2 with 31.66 per cent of the vote, losing to her opponent by under one per cent.

Outspoken “gender critical” candidate Shannon Boschy also lost in Zone 6 to Lyra Evans, a trans woman, who received 54.45% of the vote. Evans is believed to be Canada’s first openly transgender school board trustee, according to the Canadian Press, after her election in 2018.

Zone 8 candidate Chanel Pfahl, who has publicly allied herself with Boschy, garnered 18.22 per cent of the vote. She ranks as last in her zone.

   

Hamilton

 

Hamilton voter cards had no shortage of bad choices, especially with long time white nationalist Paul Fromm, on the ticket running for city councilor. 

Fromm was defeated in his bid for a place in city call, while Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board voters said no to Catherine Kronos and Larry Masters in Ward 13 and 15 respectively. Both ran under a platform of “Stop Woke.”

Kronas was originally the founder of a similarly titled project called Stop Woke, a failed campaign against Ontario’s Bill 67 that mandated education on anti-racism and queer identities in public schools. Kronas’ campaign fixated on “woke ideology,” railing against “critical race theory” and “gender ideology'' that “threaten the well-being of our students and our community.”

 

Trillium Lakelands

  

Finally, Trillium Lakelands District School Board candidate Peter Wallace, running in Ward 7, was also defeated. 

Wallace is the founder of Blueprint for Canada. A platform that received support from mainstream right-wing pundits during the runup to the election. 

The language of Blueprint starts relatively tame, focusing on “common sense” solutions to the perceived issues of racialization and queerness. It also includes familiar language about “equality of opportunity,” and “sane spaces, not safe spaces.” 

Further down the list, the policies become more clear.

“We will support policies which put an end to ‘critical social justice’ political bias and activism in our public education,” says one bullet point. 

“We will advocate that actively promoting harmful ideological beliefs ("gender ideology") on children is abusive,” reads another. 

And despite opposing “indoctrination” in schools, Blueprint also calls for all educators to undergo mandatory training against “critical race theory,” claiming it promotes “anti-caucasian racism.” 

When asked by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network for a previous article why he started Blueprint, Wallace responded, “to oppose the divisive manifestations of ‘critical theory’ based education in K-12 classrooms. We maintain that this worldview perpetuates animosity, division, and ultimately hate by promoting an “us vs. them” mentality among people of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc.”

He added that he opposes “gender ideology” in schools as children, “particularly those more susceptible to suggestion and suffering other unrelated mental health issues,” are placed at risk.

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