The herd turns: Canadian politicians back parental rights

Earlier this month, I noted that after LGBT activists failed to persuade New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs that his parental rights policy was unpopular—after polling proved that it was not unpopular and an attempt at forcing a leadership review hilariously flopped—they instead pivoted to informing him that it was illegal, with “Child and Youth Advocate” Kelly Lamrock stating that the policy likely violated the Charter rights of children. Higgs has not backed down, and his clearly articulated position is simple: Parents must be informed before school staff can “socially transition” students. Higgs is both principled and politically intelligent enough to have committed to fighting an election over the issue.  

A similar policy in Saskatchewan, announced on August 22 by Education Minister Dustin Duncan, has attracted an almost identical response. Duncan announced that schools will now be required to secure the permission of parents or guardians before socially transitioning students—that is, changing their names or pronouns—before the age of 16. Like the New Brunswick policy, this is both common sense and shows a bare minimum respect for parental rights. And right on schedule, Saskatchewan’s “Advocate for Children and Youth” Lisa Broda has come forward to express her concern about this policy. 

“I am deeply troubled by the impact this policy will have on the rights of children in Saskatchewan,” she said. “Any new policy, legislation, law, or practice that may impact children and their rights compels me, under my legislative authority, to review and advise on such matters.” Broda’s position, of course, aligns with the activists rather than the parents. 

Premier Scott Moe, fortunately, is thus far taking a page out of Blaine Higgs’s book. He knows the policy is popular, and he is willing to defend it. On August 28, he tweeted a poll highlighting just how out of step LGBT activists are with the voting public on this issue: “A new poll from Angus Reid Institute shows strong support in Saskatchewan and across Canada for Parental Inclusion and Consent in education with 86% in Saskatchewan supporting some level of notification for parents when children want to change their gender identity in school. Just 10% agree with the NDP position that parents should not be informed.” The vanishingly small number of voters who disapprove of the policy explains why LGBT activists skipped trying to convince Moe his policy was unpopular and will instead claim it is illegal. 

And indeed, this will all likely end up in court at some point. With two premiers willing to back at least some parental rights, LGBT activists are getting concerned. Even Leader of the Official Opposition Pierre Poilievre, who previously attempted to dodge questions on the Higgs policy by responding blandly that these issues should be left up to the provinces, has noticed how popular these policies are. He has now changed his tune to “My view is that parents should be the final authority of values and lessons that are taught to children. I believe in parental rights and [that] parental rights come before the government’s rights.” Well put, and better late than never, in my view. Every politician worth his or her salt should be running on policies like this. 

It is incredibly revealing that LGBT activists find this policy so threatening, and parents should be paying close attention. Journalist Dale Smith tweeted Poilievre’s comments with the statement: “Just openly dog whistling to the anti-LGBTQ+ crowd in the name of ‘parental rights.’” Notice that Smith puts “parental rights” in quotation marks. That isn’t an accident. Activists like Smith genuinely believe that government employees are better equipped to know what is good for children than parents—and especially those parents who may be concerned about the impact of gender ideology on their children. If these activists get their way, school staff will be permitted—even encouraged—to socially transition children without telling parents—especially if those parents do not want their sons to believe they are girls or their daughters to believe they are boys. 

Pay close attention to what these people are saying. They are not on your side.

UDPATE: Both Manitoba and Ontario have announced similar policies.


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