Take Action: Send an EasyMail letter to share your concerns with your MLA
UPDATE: Bill 22, has now passed in the Alberta Legislature.
Alberta’s NDP wants to emulate the family laws of the late Wynne Liberal government of Ontario. As many Albertans already know, that’s not a good thing.
Alberta’s Bill 22 is similar to Ontario’s Bill 89 (2017), which inserted gender identity ideology into the law for child and family services, which governs child protection agencies, foster care, and adoption.
ARPA Canada has been informed of cases in Ontario in which a Children’s Aid Society interferes in a family because the parents of a child struggling with gender dysphoria are not dealing with it according to the new gender identity orthodoxy. Such cases are rare, of course, but every family and every child counts.
Alberta’s Bill 22 has already passed second reading. It is now heading to committee. This is the stage where MLAs get a chance to look at the bill closely. Let’s make sure that the problems with the bill don’t get glossed over! Please read and share this article and take action right away.
What are the implications of Bill 22? As the Ontario Minister who sponsored Bill 89 said, he would consider it abuse to tell a child that their gender identity is mistaken:
I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently… If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.
You would think such a statement would be huge news. It wasn’t. ARPA discovered this statement in an obscure publication mainly read by people who work in the Ontario legislature. So that means at least a few politicians should have noticed, but none brought it up. It took the grassroots to make Ontario politicians pay attention.
The same is true in Alberta. The UCP Opposition has yet to comment on this aspect of the bill. They need to know you care. The NDP needs to know that you will not let this bill pass uncontested. All parties need to hear our concerns. Families must be free from ideologically-driven state intervention. The position that actively supporting a transgender identity in a child, socially and medically, is the best path, is neither a neutral or scientific position. Rather, it is based on contentious beliefs about the nature of human beings.
Adding gender identity ideology into child services legislation affects more than how child protection services deals with parents who don’t respond “properly” to gender identity disorder in their child.
Bill 22 also matters for foster parents and would-be foster or adoptive parents. In the worldview of Bill 22, every child has a “gender identity and gender expression” that may differ from the child’s sex. A child’s gender identity may not come to light when they are very young – a child might appear to be a boy, but come to identify as a girl later on. According to Bill 22, child services must consider how would-be foster or adoptive parents would respond.
Also telling is a change that Bill 22 makes to the foundational principle of the current law. The current Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act states, as its first principle, that “the family is the basic unit of society and its well‑being should be supported and preserved.” Bill 22 would delete that and say instead, “the child’s family has the primary responsibility for the safety and well-being of the child and the family’s well-being should be supported and preserved.”
Think carefully about this. One might argue that it does not change much. But a basic principle of interpreting a statute is that a change is not meaningless. If an amendment were meaningless, there is a presumption that it would not be made.
There is a difference between saying the family is the basic unit of society and saying merely that a family has primary responsibility for the well-being of the child.
The first says something about what the family is, reflecting what has long been understood – it is the fundamental, natural institution that precedes the state, on which society is built. The latter says nothing about what the family is. Why does that matter? Well, the NDP is following the Wynne philosophy, and we have watched the Ontario government radically redefine family.
Bill 22 says the family merely has primary responsibility for children. If that responsibility is not being fulfilled as the state wishes, however, the family may be in trouble. This is a different philosophy than the Christian philosophy that parents have an authority that the state lacks.
These changes have not yet been made in Alberta, but they are well on their way, apparently with little or no opposition. Now is the time to act. We urge you to write to your MLA, and phone him or her to follow up. Maybe even set up a meeting. Ask your MLA to commit to opposing or changing the parts of the bill we have identified.
For our EasyMail on this subject to get you started, click here.