New Brunswick premier wants to gut sex education: former education minister

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FREDERICTON — A former New Brunswick cabinet minister says he believes Premier Blaine Higgs recently ordered a review of the province's policy on sexual orientation in schools because the premier has a plan to gut sex education.

Dominic Cardy, who resigned as education minister last October, said today his allegation is based on what he's heard from sources within the government and his own interactions with Higgs.

The premier, who is on a working visit to Europe this week, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Cardy says that when he was education minister, Higgs made it clear during a meeting that he was uncomfortable with the textbook used for sex education in middle schools because it contained pictures of naked people.

As well, Cardy says Higgs demonstrated that he was confused by the difference between the sex education curriculum and the province's policy on sexual orientation and gender identity, known as Policy 713.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Bill Hogan said the Progressive Conservative government decided to conduct a review of Policy 713 a few months ago after it heard concerns raised by a variety of groups, including teachers.

Cardy, however, said that when he was in charge of education file, he didn't receive any complaints about the policy, which he introduced in 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press