Parental consent
A counsellor listens to a young adult. (iStock photo)

New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have recently introduced policies regarding parents’ involvement in name and pronoun transitions for kids 15 and under. Manitoba’s government has hinted at introducing a similar policy should they win the upcoming election. 

A close reading of New Brunswick’s and Saskatchewan’s policies reveals differences in the safeguards schools are required to provide to children. Additionally a dearth of data for kids 14 and under makes it difficult to determine how prevalent transitions actually are. 

While the changes have been highly controversial, with advocates saying the policies will be harmful to LGBTQ+ students, a recent poll indicates a majority of Canadians across all parties believe that parents should be informed of a child’s name or pronoun changes.

Policy differences

In June, New Brunswick’s education minister Bill Hogan introduced a revision to the province’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policy. Under the policy, students who are 16 and older may determine their preferred first name and pronouns without parental involvement.

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Hadassah Alencar is a bilingual journalist based near Montreal. She recently completed the journalism program at Concordia University, where she worked as a teaching assistant and became editor-in-chief...