David Goldsmith, a trustee for the Lambton Kent District School Board, will officially step down from his position June 30 opsba.org

Bill-13 claims its first victim as trustee opts to resign

  • June 20, 2012

It isn’t just members of the Catholic school system being rubbed the wrong way by the Ontario government’s Bill-13.

The passage into law of the province’s anti-bullying legislation was the final straw for David Goldsmith, a trustee for the Lambton Kent District School Board.

“Bill-13 is causing me a lot of heartburn,” said Goldsmith, who will officially step down from his position June 30 after nine years with the southwestern Ontario school board.

“I have reached the point where I have concluded that as a trustee I’m powerless.”

A Baptist, Goldsmith said Bill-13 forces him to support, and promote, ideas that conflict with his beliefs. In his resignation letter, which Goldsmith read during the trustees’ monthly meeting earlier this month, he wrote, “the direction the province is taking education is in conflict with my moral beliefs and it’s in conflict with my spiritual beliefs.”

Bill-13 is the Liberal government’s anti-bullying legislation which became law earlier this month. It has received criticism since day one over what Goldsmith noted as “special emphasis placed on gay and lesbian students.”

Goldsmith added he felt Premier Dalton McGuinty’s intention with Bill-13 was protecting gay votes, not gay students. 

It isn’t just the idea of bullying legislation geared mainly toward a single group which has angered Goldsmith. It’s also policies such as all-day kindergarten and how it undermines the family, all to milk votes from working parents, he believes.

“The province is interfering and intervening so much in family life. That should be the responsibility of the family,” said the father of four.

Additionally, taking collective bargaining into the media is evidence the Premier is willing to jeopardize the quality of education for votes, he said.

“McGuinty is just simply pandering to whatever group of constituents he can get votes from,” he said.

All of this added together has pushed Goldsmith to resign from his trustee position, a path he wouldn’t be surprised to see others take.

“Whether they will or won’t that’s an individual decision,” said Goldsmith, “(but) I’ve had a couple of people say I wish I had the courage to do the same thing.”

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