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Moe to recall Legislature after injunction on schools policy

Saskatchewan government plans to use Notwithstanding Clause after a court decision to pause Parental Inclusion and Consent policy
A court decision has paused the Saskatchewan government’s controversial Names and Pronouns policy.

REGINA - The legislature is being recalled early as the Saskatchewan government responds to the news Thursday that a Saskatchewan judge has issued an interim injunction pausing the new names and pronouns policy in schools.

The indication is the province will bring in legislation on that date and use the Notwithstanding Clause of the Constitution to implement the Parental Inclusion and Consent policy.

The interim injunction was granted by Justice Michael Megaw in King's Bench court Thursday, in response to the court application by UR Pride against the Ministry of Education's names and pronouns policy. At issue is the policy from the Education ministry introduced this summer, which requires parental consent for changes of names and pronouns in schools for students under age 16.

Premier Scott Moe has issued the following statement this afternoon:

"Today, I asked the Speaker to recall the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, October 10 to pass legislation to protect parents’ rights.

"Our government is extremely dismayed by the judicial overreach of the court blocking implementation of the Parental Inclusion and Consent policy - a policy which has the strong support of a majority of Saskatchewan residents, in particular, Saskatchewan parents.

"The default position should never be to keep a child's information from their parents.

"It is in the best interest of children to ensure parents are included in their children's education, in their classrooms and in all important decisions involving their children.

"That is why our government will take action to ensure the rights of Saskatchewan parents are protected and that this policy is implemented by recalling the Legislative Assembly and using the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian constitution to pass legislation to protect parental rights."

Earlier Thursday, the government had issued this statement in the immediate aftermath of the court ruling:  

“Our government is reviewing today’s decision to grant an interim injunction to pause the Parental Inclusion and Consent policy - a policy that has the strong support of a majority of Saskatchewan people, in particular, Saskatchewan parents.

“Our government remains fully committed to this policy and to protecting parents’ rights.  We are concerned about the uncertainty this ruling creates and are considering all options to remove that uncertainty and ensure this policy is implemented.”

The opposition New Democrats have also issued a statement. Education Critic Matt Love said the following:

We welcome this decision from the Court of King’s Bench.

 "The government should scrap this policy, which will force schools to out vulnerable kids.

"Justice Megaw said in his ruling, 'On the whole of the evidence, I am satisfied that those individuals affected by this Policy, youth under the age of 16 who are unable to have their name, pronouns, gender diversity, or gender identity, observed in the school will suffer irreparable harm.'

"The government should not come forward with legislation in the fall sitting to put this policy into law, and they certainly shouldn’t do so relying on the notwithstanding clause to push this policy forward.

 "The Children’s Advocate has already determined that this policy violates the rights of vulnerable children."

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