(Image Credit: Antoni Gomez via Wikimedia Commons; the image is at this link. Used without modification under Creative Commons Licence)
It seems that at Peel District School Board, there are no documented policies / procedures to select DEI consultants. Instead, the consultants themselves originate proposals to provide ‘training’ on topics that they believe are necessary.
Q & A
Following the tragic death of former Principal Richard Bilkzsto, I wrote an article (‘DEI: State Sponsored Bullying’) in which I stated that the State is not only enabling but in fact mandating the humiliation of Canadians because of the race that they were born into. In the meantime, a question was lingering in my mind: How do the various arms of the Canadian government select / hire DEI consultants? I had believed that there must be official policies in place for an issue that a lot of people – those in the government included – are convinced is a gravely important matter requiring vigorous action. On July 25, I had written to my MPP, Prabmeet Sarkaria, asking for guidance on how to gain access to the documents at Peel District School Board (PDSB) and Peel Regional Police, detailing these policies / procedures. I haven’t received his reply so far (nearly 8 weeks as of today) – not even an automated response saying that they have received my email. I had originally started contacting him back in July 2021 over the issue of the $85 million Ontario plan for removal of mercury from the rivers at Grassy Narrows. Over the course of time, I stopped receiving his automated reply, as well as any response to my emails. I wonder if he has blocked my email address.
However, I had also emailed my school board trustee, Kathy McDonald, asking for the same guidance on DEI policies at PDSB. She had referred me to a staff member at PDSB. Initially, there was no response from this staff member, so I guessed that this was typical government (non)functioning, and I prepared to keep chasing until I got an answer. However, my guess was wrong – the person was on vacation. My later communication was smooth, and eventually, I received this information:
Ignoring the obvious typo, here is the relevant sentence: “Generally speaking consultants draft a proposal to address a particular need that may not be able to be met/addressed internally”. It is unclear to me how this ‘need’ is identified. Also, there is no word on how the consultants are vetted. Is there a list generated of approved consultants? The reply from PDSB is silent on this. There are two salient points in the reply that I received:
(1) It is the consultants who draft the proposal (for the ‘training’ to be imparted); there is no mention of PDSB asking for such a proposal, outlining the topic for the ‘training’. I see this as very different from, say, a job description where the deliverables are spelled out by the employer, and
(2) The vetting is of the proposal, and not of the consultant. Based on the information provided to me, it appears that the decision on where and how far DEI ‘training’ should go is left to the DEI consultants’ discretion, and also that the persons offering DEI ‘training’ as consultants are free to approach PDSB uninvited.
ECHOES FROM THE PAST
The picture that I get from the above discussion is reminiscent of the images of conquistadores and other European explorers arriving on ‘new’ lands uninvited and ‘proclaiming’ it for their monarch. The fact that millions of people had lived on these ‘new’ lands and had decent civilizations going for centuries (if not millennia) did not stop them from declaring the lands as terra nullius (uninhabited land). The difference between the two situations is that while in the case of the conquistadores and other explorers the terra was defined in geographical terms, in the case of the DEI practitioners, it consists of people’s minds. More specifically, the terra that is being conquered now consists of people’s thoughts and beliefs. To be clear, this happened in the earlier instance also, where the newcomers imposed their ideas on the pre-existing inhabitants of the terra, but it was as a result of a successful conquest – whereas in the present, it is the conquest.
In the new theology of DEI, people who subscribe to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ideas – which can be summed up as ‘colorblindness’ – are the new heathen. Whatever they had believed earlier – on everything from ‘diversity’, ‘inclusion’, ‘equity’, race or even their own history – has to be treated now as fundamentally wrong and therefore to be discarded. Only the gospel dispensed by the DEI consultants is THE TRUTH. Although DEI puts heavy emphasis on ‘lived experiences’, the ‘trainees’ are not allowed to offer their own ‘lived experiences’ to challenge any part of the ‘training’ – and if anyone does, they will be put on the rack, figuratively speaking. It is somewhat ironic that the very first component of DEI, diversity, is not only not allowed to exist in its canon when it comes to thoughts, beliefs and expression, but is also snuffed out whenever it dares to poke its head above the parapet.
THE LEGAL ANGLE
That last observation brings us to a point that I don’t believe has been brought up in the public debates about DEI. At any rate, I have not come across it. The question is this: Does forcing people to abandon their earlier views on the subjects covered under DEI, and forcing them to accept what DEI preaches, violate their Charter Right to ‘freedom of thought, belief and expression under Section2? I do not have any legal training or background, but as a layman with some basic level of the understanding of the Charter, I think that there is, at the very least, a case to be explored here. We know that the late Principal Bilkzsto was publicly humiliated, in a work setting no less, for expressing the rather anodyne opinion that Canada is not more racist than the US. In this context, it is very much worth noting that generally, the same Canadians who agree wholeheartedly with the evangelization of DEI are also fond of repeating, ad nauseam, as to how Canada is and has always been a vastly more moral society than the US. The cognitive dissonance is blindingly obvious to most of the rest of us. The barrage that Principal Bilkzsto faced after his comment was therefore all the more remarkable.
There is another, next-higher-level legal question here: If there is violation of Charter Rights going on here, is the Canadian State guilty of (a) enabling it and (b) abdicating its duty towards Canadians by mandating and/or funding DEI ‘training’ in the institutions that it controls? At the very least, is the State guilty of neglecting these violations?
THE BOOKISH ANGLE
In this regard, the recent controversy at Peel District School Board regarding the wholesale dumping of books is instructive. Based on the statements by various parties, it appears to me that the Ministry of Education issued a directive, which the PDSB staff at the ground level implemented as they saw fit. Crucially, there appears to have been no monitoring or oversight of what was being done at the point of action. Someone decided that The Hungry Caterpillar no longer deserved to be read by school children, so out it went to the landfill. No one reviewed the decision. No one objected to it. Or did they?
Given the extremely hostile environment that the proponents of DEI have created, it is likely that anyone who thought that this was a wrong decision thought it better to keep mum and avoid being harassed by the ideologues / zealots. But who made the decision? Did PDSB engage a DEI consultant to decide which books need to be thrown out? Given the associated decision not to donate the discarded books on the ground that they ‘may cause harm’, the possibility cannot be ruled out. In light of the email that I received from PDSB, it makes me ponder whether a DEI consultant, upon coming know of the Ministry’s directive, saw a business opportunity as well as the ideological opportunity to ensure that the ‘heathen’ literature ceased to exist altogether in PDSB schools.
THE WIDER ANGLE
It would be unwise to draw inferences about all the school boards in Canada, let alone all the branches of the State such as the various police forces and so on, based on what PDSB told me. But I believe that there is certainly a prima facie case for a wide-ranging investigation. But the main problem is one of resources. The two entities with the required resources for such an investigation, viz., the State and the mainstream media, are wholeheartedly and enthusiastically on-board the DEI bandwagon. Therefore, the exercise will have to be carried out in a decentralized manner, by a bunch of independent voices (like yours truly) finding out the details from each such branch in their locality. The results can then be pooled together to arrive at the broader picture. While it is premature to say what this picture will look like, I am filled with foreboding as to what it will tell us.
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