The Christian Times reported that Bill 89 of the Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act 0f 2017 was passed in Ontario by a vote of 63-23. This law enables the government to remove children in families who do not accept their child’s chosen gender identity or expression.
Bill 89 replaced the old laws governing child protection, foster care and adoption services. It instructs anyone in child services and judges to consider the child’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Michael Coteau, the Minister of Child and Family Services who introduced Bill 89 commented to Heatstreet, “I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently.”
“If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”
Under the previous law, parents were permitted to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing”. The new bill amends the previous one in terms of parental rights.
Now, an emphasis is placed on identity and orientation: “allows parents only to direct the child or young person’s education and upbringing, in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.”
Irwin Elman who is an Ontario children and youth advocate feels the bill is cause for celebration indicating that it is a positive paradigm shift creating a “child-cantered system of service”. He believes it is a commitment to anti-racism and children’s rights.
The old law used to allow parents to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing.” The new bill, however, amends such rights of the parents.
It now emphasizes a child’s “identity and allows parents only to “direct the child or young person’s education and upbringing, in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.”
While many politicians and activists were enthusiastic about the new bill, Jack Fonseca, a political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition was not.
“With the passage of Bill 89, we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada’s history. Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption.”
Interestingly, Ontario child services was under criticism last April after two foster children were removed from a Christian couple’s home because they refused to tell the girls that the Easter Bunny was real (The Christian Post).
There are warnings coming with this bill, as it will limit parental freedoms- especially in the case of Christian/religious homes.
It is no surprise, though, as in 2012 Canada passed a law barring homeschool families from instructing their children that homosexuality is a sin.