A federal candidate in a Lower Mainland riding is pledging to help create a “parental bill of rights” if elected in October.
Angelina Ireland, running for the People’s Party of Canada in Delta, is fighting what she calls a “dangerous precedent” set by a court ruling last April that banned a man from speaking out about his transgender son.
“It is clear that interference of the state and its agents — which include the courts, the schools, and hospitals — is eroding parental authority,” Ireland said in a recent news release. “Parents are now at the mercy of every agenda-driven school counselor, sympathetic psychologist, and activist judge.”
The 14-year-old son, identified as A.B. in court documents, had been seeking the right to receive hormone therapy.
He had asked the court to prevent his father, identified as C.D., from giving interviews or speaking to social media groups about his case.
A judge granted him a protection order that restrains his father from attempting to persuade him to abandon hormone therapy, from addressing him by his birth name, and from referring to him as a girl or with female pronouns. He is also banned from publicly sharing information about A.B.’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or medical status.
A.B.’s mother supports his decision to receive hormone therapy, but his father objects, and the treatment was delayed for several months until a judge ruled earlier this year that it should go forward, for the teen’s mental health and well-being.
Ireland said she has been personally involved with the case from the beginning, working alongside the father and advocating on his behalf to retain pro bono legal representation, as well as connecting him with resources to raise both money and awareness.
She said she wants the federal government to intercede so that parents can raise their children “without undue interference by the state or its agents.
“It is time that Canada took that pledge seriously and protected a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children,” she said.
“To that end, we need to create a parental bill of rights. If elected, I will work alongside my colleagues to strengthen parental rights legislation. In a free society, the most cherished and sacred relationship is that between parents and their children.”
— with files from Matthew Claxton