Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Lawsuit against the revision of policy 713: 14 groups want to intervene

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A demonstration in favor of Policy 713 in its original version and in opposition to its revision took place on September 3, 2023 in front of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly building in Fredericton.

Radio-Canada

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text .

Fourteen organizations want to have their voices heard in the lawsuit against the recent revision of Policy 713 which protects gender identity in New Brunswick public schools.

The policy revised last summer now requires, among other changes, that students under 16 who want to use a pronoun in school other than the one assigned at birth have permission from their parents.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is asking the court to annul this measure, which it considers unconstitutional. She argues that the measure violates children's Charter rights because it takes away their freedom to choose the pronoun fundamental to their gender identity. She believes this is discrimination.

We are encouraged by the great interest in the case and we enthusiastically await the Court's decision on the status that will be granted to the CCLA during the trial, the CCLA spokesperson said in an email. , Alexandre Nanoff.

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The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has filed its notice of suit against the revision of the policy 713 in September 2023.

The province has not yet filed its defense statement in court.

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Deadline set by Judge Robert Dysart to file intervention request was November 30.

It is unusual for so many groups to seek to be heard in a case before a lower court, according to Professor Kerri Froc, who specializes in constitutional law at the University of New Brunswick.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">It could be that the organizations believe that the case is not going to stop there, that it could be destined for the Supreme Court, so they want to get their place earlier, says Ms. Froc.

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Premier Blaine Higgs is committed to the changes his government has made to Policy 713. Above: He meets with protesters in September 2023.

The Participants in a legal action are groups or individuals who are interested in the outcome of the case and want the court to take their own arguments into account. An intervenor can become a party to the case and submit evidence, or can help the court interpret legal issues without presenting evidence, explains Professor Froc.

In this case, all organizations, except one, ask to be involved and to intervene directly if the case is heard.

Two groups want to support the province. One of them, Our Duty Canada, which presents itself as a support network for parents who wish to protect their children from gender ideology, maintains that trans identity does not exist.

Gender identity is recognized by all medical and psychiatric organizations in Canada, and is protected by federal and provincial human rights laws.

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Young people demonstrate against Policy 713 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, September 20, 2023 “I belong to my parents,” we can read on a young girl’s poster. “Leave ideology out of schools,” is written on another sign.

Another group called Gender Dysphoria Alliance, whose main goal is to promote evidence-based discussion about gender dysphoria, believes that a child's choice of a different pronoun is a serious intervention that requires initially parental participation.

Other requests for intervention come from unions, indigenous representatives and groups that defend migrants, refugees and the LGBTQ+ community.

CUPE , for example, explains that some of its members have expressed concerns about Policy 713 because it conflicts with their personal beliefs and views. These workers fear facing disciplinary action if they do not follow the policy guidelines.

Three New Brunswick LGBTQ+ organizations and the national organization Egale Canada want to demonstrate that new Policy 713 unreasonably or unjustifiably limits the rights guaranteed by the Charter to gender diverse youth.

The judge must first determine whether the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has standing to bring legal action. The province has already indicated that it is not contesting this right.

It would be unlikely that the judge would decide that the Association is not authorized to sue the province because the latter does not object and because the Association has already been authorized in 2021 to sue the government on the issue of access to abortion, explains Professor Kerri Froc .

Based on a report by Hadeel Ibrahim, of CBC

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