CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay joined labour leaders from across Canada today outside the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina to condemn Premier Scott Moe’s attempt to override the human rights of students by using the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
On September 29, an injunction was granted temporarily blocking legislation in Saskatchewan that would require teachers to disclose to parents if students were using different pronouns. In response, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced that he would be reopening the legislature on October 10 to pass the homophobic legislation through use of the notwithstanding clause of the charter.
“Premier Moe is attempting to trample the charter rights of children for partisan reasons that are based in ignorance and homophobia,” said McKay. “This has nothing to do with ‘protecting children’; in reality, it’s about targeting vulnerable people and making them less safe.”
“In Ontario, we saw the Conservative Ford government threaten use of the notwithstanding clause against striking education support workers. And now we have Premier Moe using it to try to override the rights of queer, trans, non-binary, and two ppirit students,” said McKay.
According to Daniel Richards, CUPE Manitoba’s 2SLGBTQI+ Diversity Vice-President, “Premier Moe must understand that he does not get to pick and choose what human rights to respect and what to override and trample. Human rights are not optional, they are universal and inalienable, and Canada’s labour movement will always stand united with marginalized people under attack, and this is no exception.”
“Regardless of what province or territory, Conservative leaders like Moe must understand that the rights of trans people are not up for debate,” said McKay. “Good people will never sit idly by while the rights of vulnerable people are under attack.”
At the Canadian Labour Congress Convention in May, delegates unanimously passed an emergency resolution calling on unions to condemn hate across Canada. CUPE Manitoba has signed on to the action team to defend the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ workers and communities and will actively condemn the rising hate in all communities where CUPE members work and live.
To learn more about the ways that unions and communities are working to condemn hate, click on the following links below:
- Press Progress Article: https://pressprogress.ca/canadas-unions-are-organizing-to-defend-workers-from-far-right-anti-2slgbtq-hate-groups/
- CUPE MB Statement: https://cupe.mb.ca/2023/09/20/statement-from-cupe-manitoba-president-gina-mckay-on-anti-trans-hate-actions-across-canada/
- Momentum Canada: https://www.momentumcanada.net/about
- Anti-Hate Network: https://www.antihate.ca
- Egale Canada: https://egale.ca/awareness/open-letter-combat-hate/
Both Gina McKay and Daniel Richards are taking on active roles in Manitoba, alongside numerous 2SLGBTQI+ activists from CUPE and the labour movement and encourage union members to join the movement.
To learn more about the ways that you can show your support for 2SLGBTQI+ rights, visit: https://canadianlabour.ca/campaigns/pride-action-team/