Delta People’s Party of Canada candidate Angelina Ireland is pledging to help create a “parental bill of rights” if elected in this fall’s federal election.
Ireland’s promise stems from a court decision in April that banned a man from speaking out about the case of his transgender son.
The 14-year-old, identified as AB in court documents to maintain anonymity, asked the court to prevent his father, identified as CD, from giving interviews or speaking to social media groups about the case.
In an April 15 ruling, Justice Francesca Marzari agreed with AB and issued a protection order.
It restrains CD, the father, from attempting to persuade his son from abandoning ongoing hormone therapy, addressing AB by his birth name, or referring to AB as a girl or with female pronouns – either directly or to other people.
CD is also banned from directly, or through others, publicly sharing information about AB’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or medical status, except with lawyers involved in the case or doctors involved with AB’s care.
Aspects of the case are covered by a court-ordered publication ban.
The court case began with a battle over hormone therapy for AB, who has identified as a boy since he was 11.
AB’s mother supported his decision to receive hormone therapy, but his father objected, delaying the treatment for several months until Justice Gregory Bowdon ruled earlier this year that it should go forward, for the mental health and well-being of AB.
In a recent press release, Ireland said the ruling sets up a “dangerous precedent” that renders parents irrelevant when decisions are being made about their children’s medical treatment.
“It is clear that interference of the state and its agents — which include the courts, the schools, and hospitals — is eroding parental authority. Parents are now at the mercy of every agenda-driven school counselor, sympathetic psychologist, and activist judge,” Ireland said in a press release.
Ireland said she has been personally involved with the case from the beginning, working alongside the father and advocating on his behalf to retain pro bono legal representation, as well as connecting him with “advocacy groups” that have “worked to raise awareness and money for this lawsuit.”
Ireland wants to have Parliament intercede “in order to ensure parents are able to raise their children without undue interference by the state or its agents.”
“It is time that Canada took that pledge seriously and protected a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children. To that end, we need to create a Parental Bill of Rights. If elected, I will work alongside my colleagues to strengthen parental rights legislation. In a free society, the most cherished and sacred relationship is that between parents and their children.”
The federal election is set to take place on Monday, Oct. 21. So far five candidates have announced their intentions to run in Delta: Randy Anderson-Fennell (New Democratic Party), Tanya Corbet (Conservative Party of Canada), Craig DeCraene (Green Party of Canada), Angelina Ireland (People’s Party of Canada) and Carla Qualtrough (Liberal Party of Canada).
— with files from Matthew Claxton