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Saskatchewan Premier Vows to Introduce Legislation on Parental Rights

On social media and in a speech in Regina Sept. 7, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced his government’s plans to bring in a bill to protect parental rights.

“In light of some criticism and court challenges funded by out of province interest groups, our government has been asked if we are serious about protecting parents’ rights in education or if we plan to back down,” Mr. Moe said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Last night I answered that question,” he added. “We are not backing down. We are very serious—serious enough that the first bill we introduce when we return to the legislature this fall will be legislation to protect parental rights.”

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The premier did not lay out any specifics on what the new bill would contain, and in a statement to CKOM News on Sept. 8, his office said details would come out in due course.
It’s the latest round in a skirmish over parental rights that began in August, when the provincial government announced a new policy that requires schools to seek permission from parents or guardians to change a child’s preferred name or pronoun used at school, if they are under the age of 16.

The new policy also states parents and guardians must be informed about the sexual health curriculum and have the option to decline their child’s participation. The government has told school boards to also pause involvement with third-party groups undertaking sexual health education while the Ministry of Education does a review of resources.

At least one parents group is applauding the move toward a bill of parental rights.

“I think that’s phenomenal,” said Nadine Ness with Unified Grassroots, “seeing how many teachers who were refusing to follow this new policy [on pronouns] and seeing the reaction by certain interest groups,” she told The Epoch Times.

“I’ve been notified that there’s been a lot of pressure as well on school boards to respond against the provincial government’s new policy.”

Saskatchewan has joined New Brunswick in saying parents should be informed if children choose to use different names or pronouns.

Manitoba’s Premier Heather Stefanson has also said her party would proceed with an updated policy on parental rights if reelected on Oct. 3.

At a news conference on Aug. 17, Ms. Stefanson said, “You raised them and nurtured them, so who better than you—as parents—to know what’s best for your child as you send them off to school?” she asked.

She said a reelected Progressive Conservative government would enhance rights for parents and guardians in the Public Schools Act.

She said the changes would include the right of parents to be involved in cases of bullying, behavioral changes, and if a child discloses a wish to be recognized by a different gender at school.

On Aug. 28, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce also said he supports parents being informed.

“We have to respect the rights of parents, recognizing that these can be life-changing decisions,” said Mr. Lecce, although he stopped short of committing to legislation.

It was the same day that an Angus Reid poll came out, showing 78 percent of Canadians think parents should be informed if their children are changing genders at school.

Ms. Ness said the Angus Reid poll reflects what she is hearing from parents.

“Anyone I talk to, they’re so happy about this change … the only people that I know that are not happy are the people that are the loudest, the activists,” she said.

Others, however, are challenging the move to improve parental rights, arguing it could hurt children.

Regina-based UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity is taking legal action against the new pronoun

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