School district to appeal ruling that it cannot challenge N.B. gender-identity policy

Harry Doyle, chair of the Anglophone East School District education council, was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)
Harry Doyle, chair of the Anglophone East School District education council, was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)

A school district that launched a legal challenge to New Brunswick's gender-identity policy says it will appeal a recent court ruling that effectively quashes its action.

The Anglophone East district education council took the province to court over changes to Policy 713, which requires a student to get parental permission to use a different name or pronouns in schools, arguing it violates the Charter rights of students.

But Court of King's Bench Chief Justice Tracey DeWare ruled on Friday the council lacks standing, or the ability to bring the case forward. She said the concerns may be better addressed in a separate lawsuit by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

On Saturday, the council issued a statement that it had met and unanimously decided to appeal the ruling.

"Pursuing this appeal is a crucial step in defending local governance in the education sector, in resisting the pitfalls of centralization in Fredericton, and in ensuring that our voices are heard and that our mandate is upheld," it said in a news release.

"The DEC remains dedicated to advocating for the best interests of our students, educators, and the broader community."

CBC News has sought comment from the province and is awaiting a response.

Education Minister Bill Hogan says he's instructed schools not to book the group HOV Global Action, or its sexual health resource Thirsty for the Talk, for any future school presentations.
Education Minister Bill Hogan says he's instructed schools not to book the group HOV Global Action, or its sexual health resource Thirsty for the Talk, for any future school presentations.

Education Minister Bill Hogan has said the council's lawsuit is a misuse of government funding. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

After Friday's ruling, the province said it made a court filing to begin the process of dissolving the council. Education Minister Bill Hogan has said that's necessary because the council's lawsuit is a misuse of government funding.

It is not yet clear when a judge will rule on that request.