Action4Canada, a national Christian organization, claims to have successfully influenced the Saskatchewan Party government to adopt pronoun and sexual education policies that impact children in schools. Tanya Gaw, the founder of Action4Canada, stated that her group had been advocating for the banning of Planned Parenthood from schools and SOGI 123, a sexual health resource, long before the provincial government took action.
Action4Canada mobilized its supporters and garnered over 10,000 emails, urging former education minister Dustin Duncan and Premier Scott Moe to take action. Additionally, one of its members served a “notice of liability” to Duncan’s staff, alleging harm caused to children by exposing them to sexually explicit resources. However, it is unclear how many of these emails were from Saskatchewan residents or parents with young children.
The group also took advantage of opportunities to engage with government officials and deliver information, including a meet-and-greet event with the premier in a park.
Subsequently, in late August, Duncan implemented a ban on third-party organizations teaching sexual education courses and mandated parental consent for children under 16 who wish to use different names or pronouns at school.
UR Pride, a LGBTQ community organization in Regina, has launched legal action against the government, arguing that the pronoun policy violates Charter rights and may result in children being outed to their parents or misgendered by teachers. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for September 19.
While Action4Canada considers these policy changes a “partial win,” as the group had also desired the prohibition of non-governmental and special interest group flags in schools, it maintains that none of these matters should be addressed in an educational setting.
The government asserts that the pronoun and sexual education policies were influenced by parents across Saskatchewan. However, Action4Canada denies this claim, stating that its efforts played a role in the government’s decisions.
Action4Canada, known for its opposition to LGBTQ issues and COVID-19 mandates, has also been involved in similar campaigns in other provinces. For instance, the group rallied its supporters in New Brunswick to flood elected officials with emails to support pronoun policies.
Critics of Action4Canada’s stance argue that inclusive policies around diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools lead to healthier graduates and dismiss claims of indoctrination as baseless. Egale Canada, a national LGBTQ organization, has completed a report asserting that conservative political and religious groups manipulate gender issues to incite violence and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.
Members of Action4Canada and other similar groups have attended school board meetings in Saskatchewan to protest sex education and gender-related issues. Some of these individuals have been disruptive, causing tension that has led to the premature adjournment of meetings.
In conclusion, Action4Canada asserts its influence on the Saskatchewan Party government’s adoption of pronoun and sexual education policies. While the government claims that parental input from across the province influenced its decisions, the group maintains that its efforts played a role. Critics argue that inclusive policies result in healthier students, while conservative groups are accused of manipulating gender issues. Disruptive behavior by members of these groups at school board meetings has caused disruptions and premature adjournments.