New Brunswick reviewing policy on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools

·1 min read

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's Green Party is raising questions about the provincial government's recent decision to review the province's policy on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

Party leader David Coon issued a statement today saying he was concerned when he learned that Education Minister Bill Hogan is considering changes to Policy 713.

The policy, introduced in 2020, ensures there is a supportive school environment for students, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Coon says the province's Progressive Conservative government must do everything it can to provide safe and affirming spaces for some of the most vulnerable young people in New Brunswick.

On Friday, Hogan issued a statement saying the provincial government had nothing to do with professional development sessions for teachers that focused on how to implement the policy in the classroom.

Hogan said he wanted to explain his department's role after the government received "a number of calls with concerns" regarding the workshops for teachers.

The minister said the Council Day sessions were organized by the New Brunswick Teachers' Association, and he referred all questions to the union.

Coon took issue with that approach.

"I am also extremely disappointed that instead of standing with his teachers, minister Hogan chose to release a statement late Friday afternoon distancing himself from the … workshop that was held for teachers … earlier that day," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2023.

The Canadian Press