The season since the Provincial election has been quite busy. We’ve been writing articles, giving talks, running campaign training across the province and have even been granted intervenor status in an important court case. We also had a table at the United Conservative Party’s Annual General Meeting.
The Government of Saskatchewan recently passed legislation to prevent teachers from changing children’s pronouns in the classroom without parental consent. In response, a self-proclaimed LGBTQ rights advocacy group promptly launched a lawsuit to try to prevent it. As a result, Parents for Choice in Education applied for, and has been granted, intervenor status in the case, with the generous assistance of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF). Our affidavit is available to read on the JCCF website. You can also see what JCCF president John Carpay had to say.
There is a chance that the court case will be resolved: the Government has invoked the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Constitution, meaning the court may say that it is “moot” – academically interesting, but not profitable for the court. In the meantime, we expect a date in the New Year.
Interestingly, we share a lawyer with another intervenor group. He told us that when he showed up for the ruling on intervenor status, he found himself, two government lawyers, and fourteen lawyers representing gay rights organizations – all claiming to be working “pro bono.” We would never dispute their claim. However, we cannot help suspecting that there are indirect benefits to legal firms doing so: the simple amount of power and wealth on display was staggering.
PCE has recently published two articles in the Western Standard.
The most recent – “When it comes to parental rights, there are no other stakeholders” – looks at Danielle Smith’s promise to consider “all stakeholders” when it comes to keeping children’s gender transitions at school a secret from parents. It’s an important article, as it debunks the human rights arguments that are often advanced by radical activists.
The other recent article is “Parental rights legislation in Alberta – how about it, Mr. Minister?” It examines the Alberta Teachers’ Association’s Prism Toolkit – and the way in which it subverts laws requiring parental consent for sex education. We hope you will call the Minister’s office at 780-427-5010. Tell him that “bland assurances aren’t enough. It’s time for legislation to fix the abuses” and remind him that his own party just voted in favour of a Bill of Parental Rights at its Annual General Meeting.” (Yes, PCE had a hand in that motion).
While we’re at this, why don’t you fill out our paper petition? It covers some of the same topics – asking the Legislature to make sure administrators and teachers can share information with parents, and preventing secret referrals to child gender clinics without parental consent. Please ask your friends to fill it out as well!
Taking Back Our School Boards
One of our current initiatives is to train people to take back school boards. We’re running workshops on how to do it all over Alberta. So far, we’ve been to Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, and Lloydminster. It’s a two-day program: on Friday evening, we talk about what trustees do, and how to be a good one, followed by a talk on Saturday about electioneering for both school boards and municipal office. We even include a helpful handbook! We’re doing our next workshop in Lethbridge in early December. You can keep track of upcoming workshops on our website.
As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, some members of the radical Left were outraged that we would dare teach parents to take their school boards back from said leftists. They even published an article about it that saw printed in left-wing media. If you missed it then, you can read our response – and see how much their whining made us chuckle. Again, you can find a pdf of the article on our “Publications” page.
If you know anyone who might be interested in running for school board or your local municipal or county council, or someone who might like to help someone win, please let them know this information about our workshops.
One other thing on this topic: we send out emails to alert people of workshops or presentations in their area. All you have to do is go to the landing page of our website (www.parentchoice.ca) and fill in your details. If you suspect you should be getting local information but aren’t, try adding your full address on the same form.
We have given a number of talks around the province recently, particularly on The Pillars of Educational Choice. Generally, groups interested in parental rights send us an email asking that he come out and speak. In fact, you, too, can ask PCE’s Executive Director, John Hilton-O’Brien, to come out and speak to your organization. Other topics could include “Children’s Rights and Human Rights,” “Educational Politics,” or “How to Organize for Parental Rights.”
We are also able to do workshops or offer coaching for people who are doing advocacy work for schools. Let us know if you are interested by emailing [email protected].
We love what we’re doing: research, lobbying, writing, advocacy, and speaking are our favourite things – they’re why we are here.
Our least favourite thing to do is raising money to support it. It isn’t just that it is uncomfortable to go out with cap in hand, but it takes time. Time spent fundraising is time we’re not spending doing what we’re here for.
Consequently, one of our favourite things is when people give us a small monthly donation. There are people who put in $5 per month – literally the cost of a cup of coffee. There are people who contribute many times that, as well, for whom we are deeply grateful.
If you would like to make a monthly contribution, please go to our Donations Page and fill out the form. Just make sure that you check the button for “Monthly,” rather than “One Time” amounts. If you would rather give a one-time donation we would also be grateful. Thank you to all our donors who help support us!
Here are some more articles for you to check out:
“Labour, Protest, and Elitism” is our reflection on the unions that mobilized against the Million March for Children.
One of our favourite writers is Western Standard columnist Michael Wagner. Here are a few of his recent publications:
And some additional news updates:
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith strongly defends parental rights in the education of their children (but we haven’t seen any actual action)
The JCCF is helping a grandmother sue the Chilliwack School Board for censoring citizens.
We’ve written before on why the political activism of teachers’ unions is a problem. Even the venerable Fraser Institute has come around to our point of view.
Marco Navarro-Genie of the Haultain Institute wrote an excellent article defending the Saskatchewan Government’s decision to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause.
Looking Forward To Winter
Winter is coming – snow is already on the ground, and clocks have turned back. As we write, Remembrance Day is just around the corner.
We hope that we’ll see you at an event during this coming season.
In the meantime, we wish you a Happy Advent, and a Merry Christmas, if we don’t see you first!
We look forward to sharing more updates in our Winter Newsletter, expected early in the new year.
Executive Director, Parents for Choice in Education