10 Apr 2017 Urgent Action: Bill 89 – Final Committee review this week
Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns with your MPP
The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will do a “line by line” review of Bill 89 this Thursday, April 13. This is the last opportunity for Committee members to propose amendments. In our written submission to the Committee, ARPA included a list of ten proposed amendments, but now that it’s “crunch time”, we need to focus on just two (below).
In case you are not familiar with Ontario’s Bill 89, it would replace the current Child and Family Services Act, which governs child protection services, foster care, and adoption, and would:
- give the state greater power to subject families to its view of sexual identity and morality;
- embed gender identity ideology into child and family services law;
- empower state agencies and judges to require foster and adoptive families to hold certain views regarding sexuality and gender identity as a pre-requisite for receiving children into their care;
- undermine parental authority in a child’s religious upbringing and education; and
- increase the potential for children’s aid intervention in family affairs.
The government claims that Bill 89 would not undermine parental authority nor change the grounds for intervening in family matters to protect children. In ARPA’s analysis, this is simply not true. However, if the government insists that it does not intend to change the law in this way, then it should have no problem supporting the two amendments set out below.
- Add a subsection (4) to section 1 of the bill, stating:
Clarification: religious freedom
(4) Nothing in this Act affects the constitutional freedoms of conscience, religion, and expression, and in particular the freedom of parents to hold and to teach their children their conscientious or religious beliefs with respect to matters of sexual identity and morality.
- Add a section 73.1 in Part V (Child Protection) of the bill, stating:
Clarification: gender dysphoria
73.1 Nothing in this Part requires a parent or caregiver
(1) to actively affirm or to socially condition a child in a gender identity that is incongruent with the child’s birth sex; or
(2) to provide or facilitate access for a child or young person to medical services that are not medically necessary, which includes puberty inhibitors and cross-hormone treatments as treatments for gender dysphoria;
and failure to do so shall not be considered grounds for finding that a child is in need of protection within the meaning of subsection 73(2).
Please send this EasyMail, urging your MPP to adopt the above amendments to Bill 89.