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Egale Canada vows to fight on with litigation after pronoun policy 'rescinded' by Sask. government


Egale Canada, one of two organizations representing UR Pride in its legal efforts against the Government of Saskatchewan’s pronoun policy, is vowing to continue its legal action now that the Parents’ Bill of Rights has become law.

During an intervention application at the Court of Kings Bench in Regina on Tuesday – the government informed the court that its pronoun policy had been rescinded, in light of the Parents’ Bill of Rights passing in the legislature.

“With the legislation being passed, in effect and proclaimed – the policy becomes redundant. So it has been rescinded,” Premier Scott Moe told reporters prior to the throne speech on Wednesday.

“So we would expect that with no policy – with respect to a court case, I’m not sure how a court case would continue with no policy. But that’s not for me to decide, that’s for others to decide.”

Shortly after the ruling – Moe announced the province would enshrine the policy into law.

That process would end with the Parents’ Bill of Rights being passed through the legislature on Oct. 20.

Also known as Bill 137, the legislation includes the use of the notwithstanding clause to overrule part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the province’s human rights code.

Director of Legal for Egale Canada, Bennett Jensen, spoke with CTV News and explained the organization’s next steps in the face of the government’s actions.

“I think the government and we will disagree about what it means and we’ll make arguments before the court to work that out,” he explained. “Regardless of the policy, what we made clear yesterday in court is that we are not done. Our litigation will continue.”

Jensen says Egale will be making new arguments concerning the Parents’ Bill of Rights and more details will be made public in the coming weeks. However, it’s clear that similar cases concerning the notwithstanding clause will be referenced.

“So we have some precedent out of Ontario and a case pending in Quebec where arguments have been brought to challenge the use of the notwithstanding clause and so there will be arguments that will need to be made here as well,” he explained.

“In order to move forward with a challenge to the legislation we will need to argue that there is someway around the use of the notwithstanding clause. In Ontario, a court found that the legislation where the notwithstanding clause had been used violated a different section of the charter that the notwithstanding clause didn’t apply to in that case,” he added.

With the province changing the dynamic of the case – Jensen says one thing remains the same.

“I think what hasn’t changed though is our position that the policy or legislation violates the charter rights of young people in Saskatchewan,” he said. “And undoubtedly causes harm to that same population.”

While it’s unclear the exactly when the two sides will meet again in court – dates have been reserved for late November, early December and early January. Top Stories

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