Skip to main content

N.B. Women’s Council says Policy 713 review echoes ‘organized backlash’ against 2SLGBTQIA+ community

The New Brunswick Women’s Council says the provincial government’s review of Policy 713 is using talking points from a larger “organized backlash” against 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

In a statement Friday, the New Brunswick Women’s Council called on the Higgs government to end its review of Policy 713, which mandates minimum standards and requirements within the New Brunswick school system for all sexual orientations and gender identities.

“A lot of theses issues have been addressed by subject matter experts using evidence-based research,” says Beth Lyons, executive director of the New Brunswick Women’s Council, in an interview Friday.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development says the review of Policy 713 includes the provision for students under 16 to change their preferred first name and pronoun without parents knowing, the process for team sport selection and participation, and access to washroom facilities on the basis of gender identity.

Lyons says the Higgs government is ignoring data on the subject, as rhetoric and violence against the transgender community rises.

“We also have a government which is echoing the questions of that movement,” says Lyons. “I’m not saying they’re aligned with that movement. I’m saying that the movement is strategic.”

A brief from the council says New Brunswick is “in the midst of a backlash against 2SLGBTQIA+ people and communities,” referencing protests at drag queen story time events and a recent review of material at public libraries.

“We can not ignore the broader context of what is happening with the anti-queer and trans backlash,” says Lyons.

Similar statements of concern about the Policy 713 review have been issued by the New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate and the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. Top Stories

Stay Connected