Parents are being steadily pushed away from making important decisions about their children’s lives. Strangers, usually employed by the state, are making decisions for them, molding them to accept the values of the state, as determined by its “experts”, politicians and bureaucrats.
In short, impressionable children are being deliberately separated from their parents’ influence and values on such matters as sexuality, climate change, and the lack of significance of tradition, culture and religion in their lives.
The consequence of all this is that parents are losing their children to the state and, figuratively speaking, are being pushed over a cliff, giving parents no role other than providing for the physical care of their children, such as housing, clothing and nourishment. The emotional, psychological, moral and intellectual development of the children have fallen mainly into the hands of the state, which is determining, ultimately, their child’s destiny.
If this sounds extreme, consider the following:
A Minor’s Consent to Medical Care
A minor is an individual under the age of majority. Some provinces have set the age of majority by legislation, as in Quebec, where the age of majority is 14 years. New Brunswick sets the age of majority at 16 years of age, as does Manitoba. The remaining provinces have established that the age of consent for a minor’s medical care is to be determined by common law (judge-made law).
In these provinces, the judge-made law application provides that a child at any age is capable of providing consent, providing:
- The child has the maturity, intelligence and capacity to understand the nature and purpose of the proposed healthcare, and;
- The child has the ability to appreciate the reasonable, foreseeable consequences of such a decision.
If a child meets these requirements, parents cannot override their child’s decision. If the child does not meet these requirements, only then is the consent of the parent required before medical care can be provided to the child.
The Problem Determining a Minor’s Capacity for Consent
The problem with determining the capacity of a minor to understand the nature and consequences of a medical procedure is that this critical fact is determined by a healthcare provider, usually a physician, who also usually carries out the proposed procedure. Unfortunately, all too frequently, the physician may have only recently met the child for a brief time, doesn’t know the child’s background or medical history (neither does the child!) and also, in such controversial matters as abortion or sex-change therapy, has a direct financial incentive to carry out the procedure. A physician or a medical team doing this work (obviously) has a bias in support of such procedures. Their position is in contrast to the parents who, in most cases, intensely love and care for their child as no other individual can and who have a superior protective instinct commonly understood to flow naturally from the parent-child relationship.
Provincial Legislation That Undermines Parental Rights
It is acknowledged that there are instances when the state must step in to protect the safety, security and well-being of a vulnerable child. In such situations, it is in the child’s best interests that the state be allowed to do so. Some provinces, however, have enacted legislation that permits the state to intervene in parental rights that far exceeds what is reasonable to protect the child. That is, some provinces provide excessive and inexplicable power to the state to remove the child from the home and parental care.
Examples of this include:
Newfoundland’s Children, Youth and Families Act
This legislation provides in section 10(g) that if a parent refuses to consent to “essential” medical, psychiatric, surgical or remedial care or treatment to a child when recommended by a qualified medical practitioner, the state may take the child away from the parents’ care.
Who is to say that a medical practitioner’s judgement is superior to that of a parent? The decision of a physician, for the reasons outlined above, is not infallible. Also, it’s not merely a medical decision that is being made, but rather a decision that can have lifelong implications to the child’s future, economically, socially and psychologically. Who knows better than a parent what these ramifications might be?
The Nova Scotia Children and Family Services Act
This legislation provides, in section 3(2)(ga), that the “best interests” of the child include the consideration of the child’s “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” and sections 22(c) and 22(k) provide that, should a parent refuse to consent to or co-operate with the provision of treatment to alleviate “harm” to the child, the child may be removed from the parent’s care. That is, the state determines the “harm” and parents must co-operate or lose their child.
Ontario Child, Youth and Family Services Act
This legislation includes a provision that the child’s “best interest” must include the consideration of the child’s “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”.
Alberta’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
This legislation provides, in section 1(2.1)(b), that a child is in need of intervention by the state if it is believed that the safety, security, or development of the child is in jeopardy and the parent is unwilling to permit “essential, medical, surgical, or other remedial care that is ‘necessary’ for the health or well-being of the child.”
Who decides what constitutes “essential medical care”? The state does.
In 2017, the former NDP government in Alberta amended the School Act to allow students in every school (Public, Catholic, Christian, etc.) to set up Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs if it was demanded by any child from kindergarten upwards. This was supposedly to provide a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe environment for students. However, even members of the LGBT community have acknowledged that the purpose of the GSAs is to promote the homosexual/transgender agenda within the school system.
This legislation also prohibited the principal or teachers from disclosing to the parents whether the child was a member of the GSA as well as any information on the club’s activities. The legislation also gave students the sole legal authority to bring in outside speakers to provide sexual information to kindergarten to grade 12 children without parental knowledge or consent.
When the United Conservative Party (UCP) was elected in 2019, this controversial legislation was amended to allow teachers and principals to inform a parent of a child’s participation in a GSA. The latter clubs, however, were permitted to continue operating in the schools.
The B.C. Family Law Act
This legislation broadly defines what constitutes “family violence” (section 38) and what is the child’s best interests (section 37).
In the 2019 case of A.B. v. C.D. and E.F., a judge in the lower B.C. Supreme Court, considered the situation of a 14 year old girl who decided she wanted to become a boy, and who sought a protection order to restrain her father from interfering with this decision. Section 17 of the B.C. Infants Act provides that healthcare providers have the responsibility to determine whether the child has the capacity to consent to medical care. Parents have no authority over this matter.
Judge Francesca Marzari held that the father’s conduct, in refusing to agree with his daughter’s transition to be a male and his attempt to convince his daughter to abandon treatment for her gender dysphoria, was harmful to the child and constituted “family violence”, contrary to the child’s “best interests”. Judge Marzari also stated that the father’s actions, in objecting to this change, and speaking out publicly to several conservative outlets about the situation, had made the child an unwilling poster child for the father’s “cause”. (It is significant that the child’s name was kept anonymous under court order and never publicly disclosed). The judge granted the child a protection order that prohibited the father from, among other actions, attempting to persuade the child to stop treatment, addressing the child by her birth name and referring to her as a girl, using female pronouns or speaking publicly about the matter.
On appeal, the father argued that this court order infringed on his freedom of speech and expression and interfered with his parental role. The B.C. Court of Appeal, in a decision on January 10, 2020, concluded that identifying the father’s actions as “family violence” was inconsistent with the parenting role. It stated that family disagreement was not violence, and that the child, as a mature minor, should have the ability to listen to opposing views.
The Appeal Court also stated the father was entitled to his views and entitled to communicate his views to his child and that the child’s consent did not remove all his parental involvement from the medical decision.
However, the Court did order the father to refer to his child as male, to use male pronouns, to identify his child by “his” male name and that he not publish information publicly on the case.
The Court did not deal in any depth with the father’s rights and freedom of opinion, dismissing them, stating that the Court order did not prevent the father from expressing his opinion in private conversation with family and friends.
Effect of the Decision
The decision of a provincial court is not binding nationally, only in the province where the decision was made. If this decision is appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, then it would be binding in all of Canada. The problem is that should a court challenge arise in another province on parental rights, it is likely that a judge would follow this decision as a precedent. This case, therefore, is a danger lurking on the books for all parents.