With Bill 89 being passed last week in Canada, it seems that a dystopian society more fitting for a science fiction novel is becoming a reality in Ontario, Canada.
What is Bill 89? The full name of the Bill is the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act. According to the Canada Association for Reformed Political actions, the general aim of the Bill is to require “child protection, foster, adoption service providers, and judges to take into account and respect a child’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”
The Bill doesn’t seem to be as hostile as critics are claiming from this point alone, but further ambiguous statements in the Bill make it unclear whether the Bill really seeks to serve children and families or whether it seeks to serve the State.
The biggest problem with the Bill, according to critics, is that it takes away parents’ authority and responsibility for their children, even their biological children. The Bill redefines what a “child in need of protection” is, so that if a child suffers from gender dysphoria, or if they engage in behaviors usually attributed to an individual of the opposite sex and the parents choose other means of helping their child (such as, say, faith and affirmation of God-given identity) which do not include exploring his/her gender identity or provide medical treatments and procedures (including by reason of his/her young age), the Bill considers this as infringing upon the “best interests” of the child’s “mental and emotional needs.” The effect of this definition is that should a protection worker become involved, this situation is reason to take children away from their families so that they can be “protected” under the State.
This brings about two natural questions: how can Protection Services get involved in the first place? And how opposed must parents be to the law’s definition of how a child’s gender dysphoria should be addressed in order to risk losing their children?
Critics argue that because of the intense and explicit sex education occurring at school, children are being taught gender ideology at a very early age. If a child then believes that he or she belongs to a different gender, it is a “duty” that “all persons…report suspicions that a child is in need of protection.” Once someone reports this out of such “duty” it is then up to the Child Protective Services worker to meet with the family and decide if the child is in need of protection.
Though children have a right “to have their views given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity” the assessment is largely based on the Child Protective Services worker. Once a protection worker is involved, it is up to the court to decide whether the children will stay in custody of someone else or not, and for how long. It is also up to the Minister (i.e. the Minister of Children and Youth Services) to “make regulations for the purposes of this Act; governing how service providers, in making decisions in respect of any child, are to take into account the child’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”
This procedure leaves parents helpless, as the Bill even replaces the previous Act’s statement that parents have a right to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing” and instead reads that a parent must “direct the child’s or young person’s education and upbringing, in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed.” In answer to how opposed parents have to be to the State’s beliefs in order to undergo investigation, it seems that if they oppose a child’s decided “creed” in any way and refuse to provide the full effects of this creed (in the case of gender), they are not putting the best interests of the child first and are therefore breaking the law set out by Bill 89.
It seems that the leaders on this Bill might just have some misguided concerns about children’s abuse. But according to some groups like Real Women of Canada, this new legislation opens a door to the State to “control the child’s destiny, and, to mold the child in accordance with the State’s ideology.”
I think the better question is, how does the possibility of a child being taken away from their families help them to cope with gender dysphoria? Children need love and support in coming to understand themselves and their identity, whether this is a matter of gender or not, and the family is the best support for this, as they ultimately know their child best.
The events in Canada show the possibility of a totalitarian power ruling society in ways that are reminiscent of novels like 1984, A Brave New World, or even The Hunger Games. Unfortunately, this abuse is now a reality, with the protection of the family in great danger. The current events in Ontario show that many freedoms are being stifled in the name of “freedom” and “justice,” which is a very dangerous thought. And the first people to be impacted are families, especially children.
In a world where we know that the family is the source of goodness, love, and support, we must do our part to educate ourselves on the attacks against the family and speak out to prevent these ideas from spreading and doing further harm to our children and their future. Without the source of the family, children have nowhere to look for guidance and support; to suggest that that support is better found in the State is a fallacy. Our legislation needs to continue to identify true abusive situations where children need to be moved to different families, and promote the continued protection of current families who are good and seek the best for their children according to their own moral and religious beliefs.
 74(3): http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=4479
 Part V: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=4479
 Subparagraph 3 iii of subsection 1(2): http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=4479
 “Parental consent, etc”: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=4479