Ontario Bill 89 to Allow State to Take Away Children "Abused" on the Basis of Gender Identity

(Photo by Benson Kua, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10803582)

(Photo by Benson Kua, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10803582)

Earlier today, Bill 89, Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017, which repeals and replaced the old Child and Family Services Act, received royal assent. This new legislation permits the state to intervene in families that are not accepting of the child’s chosen gender identity and gender expression. The Minister of Child and Family Services, Michael Coteau, characterizes parental opposition to a child’s self-expressed gender identity as a form of abuse that justifies the state to remove that child “from that environment and place [them] into protection where the abuse stops”.

While some see this legislation as progress, a “paradigm shift” that is child-centred, promotes children rights, and is in the best interests of the child, there are others who are critical of it, deeming the bill “totalitarian”, dangerous, a threat to people of faith who have children, and a direct attack on the family and parental authority. Petitions are currently calling for a repeal of this bill.