Both the GDA and PCE are arguing that the best interests of children are protected by their informed parents, JCCF said.
‘Foundational Principle’Andre Memauri, JCCF lawyer and counsel for the GDA and PCE, says the joint application by his clients on Sept. 5 for intervenor status is based on the “foundational principle that children’s constitutional rights are protected by the informed involvement of their parents.”
“The Court is facing the argument that requiring schools to have parents’ consent before changing the name and gender of their children violates the constitutional rights of those children. Such an outcome would be harmful to the parent-child and parent-school relationship, and ultimately would undermine the security of the children in this vulnerable group,” Mr. Memauri said in the Sept. 20 press release.
“Only in rare exceptions can excluding parents be justified.”
One of the points stated in the application is that Canadian law recognizes parents as the “primary decision makers of their children for all significant decisions, including being charged with the responsibility of the education and moral upbringing of their children.”
‘Unnecessarily Inflammatory’The province opposed the injunction and argued that the policy has been misinterpreted by UR Pride and their lawyers.
“It's my submission that those submissions are inaccurate and unfair, and they're unnecessarily inflammatory,” said Mitch McAdam, one of the province's lawyers. “The court needs to look at what the policy actually says and make a ruling based on what the policy says.”
Mr. McAdam said students who are concerned they won’t receive parental consent are to be provided with professional counselling at school until they are ready to seek consent. He also argued that the issue is about “drawing distinctions based on age.”
“Is it 16, as determined by the Ministry of Education? Or is it somewhere else? Is it 13, 14? Because, surely, it won't be 12,” he said.
Justice Michael Megaw, who heard the injunction application, reserved his decision. He granted intervenor status to the GDA and PCE, along with three other organizations, namely the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society, and Women's Legal Education.
‘Irreplaceable Role’In a statement on Sept. 20, GDA executive director Aaron Kimberly said departures from sound evidence about gender dysphoria have led to missteps in policy and health care in ways that are harmful to persons with gender dysphoria and to society in general.
“The social transition of children without clinical or parental oversight is one such misstep,” said the director in a release.
“Parents have an irreplaceable role in understanding possible underlying causes of gender dysphoria and/or transgender identity in their children. Their involvement, and the oversight of competent clinicians, is crucial to protecting the child’s best interests.”
PCE executive director John Hilton O’Brian, in his statement on Sept. 20, said his organization believes that “the greatest allies and protectors of children are their own parents.”
”We are aware that harm to children—particularly those with existing mental and emotional challenges—has resulted from school staff addressing issues of gender and sexuality without proper parental involvement.”