White Ribbon Fredericton, an organization of men dedicated to ending violence against women and promoting gender equality, recently issued a statement on October 18th, criticizing Premier Blane Higgs for his government’s stance on Policy 713. 

Understanding Policy 713

Policy 713 was implemented by the New Brunswick government in August 2020, with the goal of creating a safe and inclusive classroom environment for LGBTQ+ students. This policy allowed students to disclose their sexual identity to school staff without the information being shared with their parents or guardians, without the fear of discrimination. 

However, this past May, Blaine Higgs and his cabinet, who had previously expressed opposition to Policy 713, initiated a review of the policy. The proposed changes in the review would require children under 16 to obtain consent from their guardians in order to be addressed by their preferred name or pronoun. This shift has been deemed “unlawful and unconstitutional” by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Who is White Ribbon Fredericton and What Do They Want?

White Ribbon Fredericton is an organization with a mission to promote “equity, healthy relationships, and a new vision of masculinity” while actively working in communities and politics to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and combat violence against women. “Our hope has always been to bring folks along, to nurture understanding, and inspire action,” wrote White Ribbon Fredericton in their statement. 

The organization expressed concern regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ children by Premier Higgs. They suggested that Higgs might be using a strategy reminiscent of “the fundamentalist far-right,” while framing his actions as protecting parental rights. Higgs was quoted as saying, “information about a child should not be hidden from the parents.” White Ribbon also claimed Higgs is creating “a fear of indoctrination of children by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and its allies.”  

White Ribbon’s statement also claimed that Blaine Higgs and his cabinet might be influenced by religion instead of facts, disregarding Canada’s principle of a separation between church and state.

Their statement ends not with a condemnation of Higgs, but rather appeals to him “to reject the politics of fear and hate, to listen to the voices of moderation, and to respect the report of the New Brunswick Child and Youth Advocate.”


Unfortunately for LGBTQ+ children, the Throne appeared to agree with a change of Policy 713, stating, “welcoming learning environment for all, while respecting the role of parents.” The fate of Policy 713 now rests on the upcoming October election.

‘Extreme anti-trans positions’ under Higgs condemned by group opposing gender-based violence – NB Media Co-op (nbmediacoop.org) 

N.B. premier stands by changes to school LGBTQ policy, says he does not want an election | CBC News 

For another article by the Bruns about a similar topic Trans Protests in New Brunswick; Blaine Higgs Actions Show Bias – Brunswickan (thebruns.ca)  

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