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Quebec education minister rejects hearings on gender identity, prefers expert panel – Montreal

Quebec’s education minister says he won’t convene a legislative committee on gender identity because he says doing so exposes the sensitive issue to political exploitation.

Instead, Bernard Drainville says he’s open to creating a panel of experts to study the issue.

Quebec’s political class has been seized with questions about gender identity after several recent reports.

More: No to mixed-gender bathrooms in Quebec schools, says education minister

A school southeast of Montreal received threats after a nonbinary teacher asked to use the honorific Mx — pronounced Miks — and a school in the province’s northwest planned to provide gender-neutral bathrooms to students for the 2024-25 school year.

Drainville says he doesn’t want the topic to be exploited for partisan purposes, which he says is a temptation among political parties when they gather for committee hearings.

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He says an expert panel could be put in place by Christmas to address the pertinent subjects and look at practices in other countries.

On Tuesday, Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon called on the government to hold legislative hearings to debate the recent controversies, saying schools risk being influenced by “radical left” ideas.

More: Quebec police investigate threats after school says nonbinary teacher prefers Mx. pronoun

Liberal member André Fortin, meanwhile, said provincial politicians should focus instead on higher-priority issues, like teacher shortages, rather than on mixed-gender toilets.

On Tuesday, Drainville said it was out of the question that Quebec schools would have mixed-gender bathrooms.

Click to play video: 'Gender neutral bathrooms gaining popularity across Canada'

Gender neutral bathrooms gaining popularity across Canada

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