As some provinces are implementing new policies regarding children’s preferred pronouns and gender identity, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has expressed his views on parental rights. During a speech at Ford Fest, his annual family barbecue and event, Ford emphasized the importance of parents’ rights and their role in being informed about their children’s decisions. He stated that it is the responsibility of parents to be aware and not the duty of teachers or school boards to indoctrinate children. While other provinces have introduced policies on parental rights, Ontario has not established any official policy on the matter and has left it to school boards.
Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, although emphasizing the need for parents to be involved, did not commit to any formal policy or mandate during a press conference. He recognized the significance of parental involvement and mentioned the potential life-changing implications of such decisions. Lecce stated that parents should have the right to know and expressed the belief that school boards should be transparent in their communication with parents.
When asked about issuing a directive to school boards, Lecce responded that it would be the responsibility of individual school boards to create their policies. Advocacy organization Parents As First Educators launched a petition calling for the Education Minister to back up his commitment with action.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have already implemented formal policies that protect parental rights and require parental consent for name and pronoun changes for children under the age of 16. Recent polls have shown that a majority of Canadians believe parents should be informed if their child wants to change their gender identity or pronouns.
Overall, the issue of parental rights in relation to gender identity is gaining attention, and politicians are responding to public opinion and popular support for parental involvement. Leaders from various provinces have taken a stand on this issue, prioritizing parental rights and recognizing that parents play a crucial role in their children’s upbringing and well-being.