The CTF/FCE calls for respect of human rights
As President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE), I must express my deep concern and sadness regarding the recent decision by the Government of Saskatchewan to invoke the notwithstanding clause to enforce its regressive and discriminatory policy on pronouns and names for youth under the age of 16.
The decision by Premier Moe and his government to require parental consent for children to use their chosen name and pronouns at school is nothing short of an attack on the rights and well-being of trans and non-binary children. However, the approach of the Saskatchewan government is even more shocking.
As a parent, as a teacher, and as an elected representative of over 365,000 education workers, I find the news that the Scott Moe government is moving at an unprecedented speed to expediently enact this policy, both, disheartening, and blatantly indicative of a government that is overbearing in its pursuit to flout the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for political advantage.
According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal from June 2022: “Compared with cisgender, heterosexual adolescents, transgender adolescents showed 5 times the risk of suicidal ideation […] and 7.6 times the risk of suicide attempt.” Transgender and queer students need support in a way that prioritizes their safety and their mental health. Circumventing the Canadian judicial system to harm members of our communities, whom we are obligated to care for and protect, is shameful.
Although education is primarily the responsibility of provinces in Canada, the necessity of protecting children within the public education system is something that transcends provincial or territorial borders. All governments within Canada must work towards a resolution that upholds the rights and dignity of all Canadians, regardless of their gender identity.
About the CTF/FCE
Founded in 1920, the CTF/FCE is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teachers’ organizations that represent over 365,000 teachers and education workers across Canada. The CTF/FCE is also an affiliate of Education International, which represents more than 32-million educators.
Nika Quintao, Director of Public Affairs
Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE)