What’s Current: New Brunwick Premier under fire for demanding parental consent for pronoun changes in school

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has changed the province’s policy name and pronoun changes in school, determining students require parental consent. The previous policy said teachers needed the student’s consent before discussing the student’s new name and pronouns with their parents, meaning the school could “socially transition” a minor without the knowledge of the parents.

Higgs says disagreement within the party about the policy change could “potentially could force an election,” adding:

“I believe that strongly in the case of finding a solution here where we do not exclude parents in their child’s life…

We believe that is fundamentally wrong to not share this information with the parents if we are using (a student’s preferred name) on a daily basis.”

A national poll found that 57 per cent of Canadians felt that schools should have to tell parents about their child’s desire to change their pronouns or “transition.”

In response to Higgs’ decision, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:

“Far-right political actors are trying to outdo themselves with the types of cruelty and isolation they can inflict on these already vulnerable people. Right now, trans kids in New Brunswick are being told they don’t have the right to be their true selves, that they need to ask permission.”

Dorothy Shephard, Conservative MLA for Saint John-Lancaster, resigned from cabinet on Thursday, in part due to Higgs’ proposed changes to Policy 713, which addresses LGBTQI2S+ policy in schools.

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.