Group demands N.B. halt gender identity policy review

A Fredericton pride organization is calling on the province to cease its review of the policy that creates an inclusive environment for LGBTQ youth.

Fierté Fredericton Pride issued a statement Thursday saying it stands in solidarity with teachers, staff and youth impacted by the review of Policy 713.

“We ask the government to uphold 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, education and freedom,” the statement reads.

“After all, sexual orientation and gender identity are protected under the Federal and New Brunswick Human Rights Code (Bill C-16).”

Enacted in 2020, Policy 713 sets out requirements for New Brunswick schools to create a safe, welcoming learning environment for LGBTQ youth.

The province announced a review of the policy last week after demonstrators gathered at a New Brunswick Teachers’ Association event, protesting against education on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The group also says Pride in Education, a non-profit focused on creating safer schools for LGBTQ youth, was denied funding last month from the provincial government.

“We call on Premier Higgs, Minister Hogan and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to cease the review of Provincial Policy 713 and to renew departmental support of Pride in Education (PIE),” the group said.

A demonstration against the review is scheduled to take place on May 13 at 1 p.m. in front of the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton.