“We want to start by thanking and assuring teachers and other community leaders. You do not stand alone; all members of the Liberal caucus are with you.
Policy 713 is integral to 2SLGBTQIA+ students, allies and our education system as a whole. The policy provides everyone confidence and assurance that they will be welcomed and provided with a safe space to pursue their education and their gender identity and sexual orientation will be supported. This government made great progress when they introduced this policy two years ago. So we are asking, why now? By initiating this review, the government has put 2SLGBTQIA+ students and educators at risk for targeted harassment, violence, and left them wondering if they will have a safe place in our education system.
At a time when teachers and students needed the government to protect and stand up for them, they were thrown under the bus. Teachers used their own professional development dues to ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to lead safe, welcoming, and positive classrooms. The government should have been there to support them in their effort to bring Policy 713 to life, instead of denying any involvement and responsibility.
This government has once again shown a total lack of respect, empathy, transparency, and leadership in supporting students and educators. We should be constantly trying to strengthen inclusion, not tearing down the hard-earned progress made so far. We cannot move backwards. The risks are too high.”
Susan Holt, Leader of the Official Opposition
With support from all members of Liberal caucus.