Court proceedings begin over injunction over Saskatchewan’s school pronoun policy

A Saskatchewan judge on Tuesday heard an application for an injunction opposing the province’s new policy on pronouns in schools.

Lawyers representing UR Pride said the policy violates two sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including equality rights and the right to security of the person.

Adam Goldberg, a lawyer representing the group, told the court Tuesday that the province’s policy is discriminatory because it leads teachers to mistreat students who are unable to obtain parental consent.

The new government policy, introduced by the Ministry of Education in August, requires children under 16 to have their parents’ consent to use different names or pronouns at school.

Lawyers said the injunction request seeks to temporarily suspend the policy until the judge makes a decision.

Goldberg said the policy excludes students, which could put them in danger if they are not accepted home.

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Last week, Saskatchewan children’s advocate Lisa Broda also said the policy violates charter rights, particularly the rights to gender identity and expression.

The province’s legal team has yet to rule in court.

Premier Scott Moe said his government would remain committed to the policy, saying the province would do everything in its power to protect parental rights, including using the Charter’s notwithstanding clause.

The clause would allow the government to pa*s the law even whether or not it violates certain human rights – and the plaintiffs would not be able to sue the government over it.

Justice Michael Megaw, hearing the injunction request, granted intervener status to five organizations: the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the John Howard Society, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, the Gender Dysphoria Alliance and Parents for Choice in Education, Alberta.

— with files from Brody Langager of PKBNEWS and The Canadian Press

&copy 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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