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(Photo: Submitted by Kristin Cavoukian

Minister’s resignation ‘the right thing to do’: DEC member

By Tara Clow Jun 16, 2023 | 2:26 PM

Dorothy Shephard’s decision to resign from cabinet is getting support from a Mount Allison University poli-sci professor and Anglophone East District Education Council member.

Kristin Cavoukian says that was a dramatic turn of events, but it was the right thing to do, “It’s gratifying to know that the Premier’s dictation of policy and his flat-out refusal to consult with relevant stakeholders was resented even by his own cabinet. On June 3, I personally called for cabinet ministers to do the right thing,  to show courage and to resign in protest. I’m very impressed to see that Dorothy Shepard has done precisely that.”

Shephard was one of six Tory MLAs on Thursday who sided with a Liberal motion that urged the child and youth advocate to conduct a consultation on changes to Policy 713 and its impacts.

“We know that people across the country have been watching these proceedings very carefully and that extreme right-wing groups are hoping that New Brunswick will be the template they can use to knock down dominoes all over the country and take away the rights of trans kids,” Cavoukian adds.

Under the new policy, set to take effect July 1, trans and non-binary students under 16 would now require parental consent to officially change their preferred name and pronouns in school.

The previous policy also required parental consent but included a path forward if the school was unable to get parental consent.

In those cases, schools would put a plan in place to support the student in managing the use of the preferred name in the learning environment.

Now, school professionals such as social workers or psychologists will work with students to help them speak with their parents — if and when they are ready to do so.

The education minister insisted school officials wouldn’t be outing LGBTQ+ students.

With files from Brad Perry


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