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University of Regina Pride Centre threatens legal action over Sask. pronoun policy


The University of Regina’s Pride Centre (UR Pride) is preparing to take legal action over Saskatchewan’s new policy for students' names and chosen pronouns.

Under the new policy, announced last week by the government of Saskatchewan, parents of children under 16 must give consent to schools if their child wishes to change their pronouns or name.

UR Pride is set to file a lawsuit at a Court of King’s Bench, citing the policy violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Advocacy group Egale Canada and law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP is representing UR Pride in the brewing legal battle.

“This policy is deeply problematic and undermines humanity and dignity — and we won't stand for it,” Bennett Jensen, director of Egale Canada, told CTV News.

Jensen believes the government’s pronoun and naming policy violates the Charter's Section 15 – Equality Rights and Section 7 – Life, Liberty and Security of the Person.

Until the lawsuit is filed, UR Pride is asking the province to suspend the policy.

If the government doesn’t suspend the policy by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, UR Pride will take further legal action — ask the court to grant an injunction, to block the policy from coming into effect.

“We’re really worried about the realities that students will be facing on September 5th (the first day of school),” Jensen said.

“There are lots of kids who have been out in schools, maybe not yet comfortable talking to their families.”

Jensen worries about the “immediate consequences” students may face under this policy.

“We absolutely want and think that parents should be involved in this. We're really just talking about giving young people a zone of independence and privacy to be able to navigate their identity,” Jensen said.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said the policy is inclusive and “designed to include parents in their child's school.”

“We're not considering a pause on the policy,” Moe said, following a cabinet shuffle announcement Tuesday morning that included shifting out Dustin Duncan as education minister.

“We'll be looking to the school divisions on what their implementation plans are, given every scenario that may arise with the implementation of this policy.”

The lawsuit is set to be filed “in the coming days.”

UR Pride is a non-profit service provider housed at the University of Regina. According to its website, the non-profit serves the entire campus community, and provides services to "all folks living or spending time in Regina." Top Stories

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