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Education Minister Bill Hogan speaks with reporters on Nov. 30, 2023. Image: Government of New Brunswick YouTube video capture

Province, DEC each handed wins in Policy 713 dispute

By Brad Perry May 30, 2024 | 3:52 PM

The Anglophone East District Education Council is celebrating what it calls its “first court win” over Policy 713.

The Court of King’s Bench ruled Wednesday that the elected council can seek an injunction to prevent the education minister from implementing the gender identity policy.

At the same time, Chief Justice Tracey DeWare also handed a pair of wins to the provincial government.

DeWare ruled the DEC cannot seek an injunction to prevent the education minister from quashing its own policy and from dissolving the council.

Changes to Policy 713 made last summer require gender-diverse students under 16 to seek parental consent before their preferred names and pronouns will be respected at school.

Council members have said the changes are discriminatory and threaten the safety of gender-diverse students.

The council introduced its own policy, requiring school staff to respect the preferred names and pronouns of gender-diverse students regardless of age.

Both sides are scheduled to return to court later in June for a hearing, according to the province.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Bill Hogan has not yet applied to the courts to have the DEC dissolved. The council said it would “vigorously defend” itself if that happens.

Hogan threatened to dissolve the council earlier in May after it refused to stop spending money on its lawsuit against the province.