During the Ontario Provincial election in 2011 the National Post and Sun TV network ran an ad sponsored by a group called The Institute for Canadian Values protesting the proposed Ontario public school curriculum which included teaching children as young as age 7 about sexual issues including gender identity.
Some groups objected to the language of the ad, particularly the term "corrupt" in reference to teaching children to question their gender identity. The National Post subsequently apologized for placing the ad, but Sun TV did not, and featured it in their news broadcasts as a matter of discussion and public debate over the Ontario school curriculum.
Many Canadians are deeply concerned about the poor judgement and potential psychological damage of introducing sexualized education to children too young to comprehend and process such information. The Institute for Canadian Values is closely associated with Reverend Charles McVety, a Canadian clergyman who has voiced strong opposition to Gay marriage. However many Canadians who support Gay marriage and transsexual rights also strongly object to introducing a sexualized curriculum to children younger than 11, regardless of the sexual orientation discussed.
The curriculum itself was fostered among other places, at the Ontario Institute for Educational Studies (OISE) a radicalized institution with programs that have a declared activist agenda. Many OISE courses and instructors actively promote anti-Capitalist, pro-Marxist, anti-Israel, and racist and/or raced based radical activism and the proposed curriculum reflects that approach.
The McGuinty government in Ontario itself seems conflicted about the issue, having conveyed mixed and obfuscating messages about its intentions about introducing it in schools. Clearly the issue and the range of opinions about it are important parts of public discourse.
Under pressure from activist groups, Mars Canada/Uncle Ben's has withdrawn advertising from Sun News as a result of its allowing the ad and discussion about this important matter of public policy. Mars was clear in saying that it withdrew its advertising because of Sun's coverage of this issue, saying to a blogger:
Dear Mr. Murphy,
Based on feedback from consumers such as yourself, UNCLE BEN'S will not be advertising on Sun TV in 2012.
We thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns and for your loyalty towards the UNCLE BEN'S brand.
Rather than simply removing its advertising from Sun TV without comment, by taking this action in concert with the public statement, Mars Canada has effectively taken a position against the free exchange of ideas and links itself with advocates for a sexualized classroom agenda.
As a private concern, Mars Canada is at liberty to associate itself or not associate itself with any organization it chooses.
Mars Canada should be aware that as consumers, we have that same right.
As long as Mars Canada effectively takes a political stand that effectively punishes a news network for addressing an important public issue and continues to boycott Sun TV, I will cease to purchase Uncle Ben's products and use the many alternatives that Mars’ competitors offer.
If you agree with what you're read, you can copy and send it to Mars Canada at this link, or feel free to make any changes you wish