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Education Act sparks debate over LGBTQ protections

June 11, 2019 ATA News Staff

On May 5 the UCP government introduced Bill 8, the Education Amendment Act. This legislation amends the Education Act that the previous Progressive Conservative government passed but never proclaimed.

The new act does not contain protections that the NDP instituted in 2017 making it illegal for teachers to notify a parent if a child has joined a gay–straight alliance.


This aspect has raised concern from opposition members, but Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says the new act has Alberta leading the nation.

“Under the new Education Act we will have the most comprehensive GSA, QSA, inclusive legislation in Canada,” she said in introducing the bill. “I’ve been in contact with students recently from the LGBTQ-plus community, and they have told me that they are really looking towards the balanced approach that we are putting forward.”

Adriana LaGrange, education minister



Opposition leader Rachel Notley said the act removes the obligation for school districts to have a LGBTQ-supportive policy, thereby allowing schools to discourage kids from asking for GSAs.

“It removes protection from being outed, thereby scaring kids away from GSAs. It removes government enforcement provisions, thereby allowing schools to block GSAs,” Notley said. “You know that as many as half of boards will abandon GSAs, and you’re okay with it because your values are more important than the safety of those kids.” ❚

 Rachel Notley, opposition leader


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