Upcoming Canada-Wide Rally Organized to Support Parental Rights

Upcoming Canada-Wide Rally Organized to Support Parental Rights
People hold signs during the 1 Million March for Children demonstration supporting parental rights, in Ottawa on Sept. 20, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
Andrew Chen

A group is organizing another Canada-wide rally to ask for parental rights while expressing opposition to the inclusion of gender ideology in the school curriculum.

A statement by the organizer "Hands Off Our Kids" shared on various social media platforms says the event is scheduled for Oct. 21. The date is one month after another recent Canada-wide protest, dubbed "1 Million March for Children," held on Sept. 20, although the organizers are different.
During the Sept. 20 protest, several unions, among them both the teachers' and government employees' unions, initiated a counter-protest. In a video conference that was leaked before the event, over 100 union organizers discussed plans to disrupt the demonstration upholding parental rights.

The protests come amid changing school policies, with the provinces of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan recently introducing new guidelines, mandating parental consent for students under the age of 16 who wish to change their given names and pronouns at school.

In Saskatchewan, Premier Scott Moe has signalled his intention to invoke the notwithstanding clause to enact legislation aimed at upholding the province's school pronoun policy. The clause, also referred to as Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, grants provincial parliaments the authority to temporarily override specific provisions of the charter by passing a law for a five-year term.

Moe's plan to use of the notwithstanding clause follows a decision by Court of King’s Bench Justice Michael Megaw on Sept. 28 to grant an injunction temporarily halting the government's policy requiring parental consent for children under 16 who wished to use a different name or gender pronoun at school.

The federal government has criticized the provinces' policies of keeping parents informed of pronoun changes at school.

Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify the organizers of the Sept. 20 and Oct. 21 protests.