The New Brunswick mother behind a campaign supporting Premier Blaine Higgs says if a leadership review were to happen, Higgs would come out victorious with the support of parents given the popularity of his parental rights policy. 

In an interview with True North, Don’t Delete Parents campaign founder Faytene Grasseschi praised Higgs’ changes to Policy 713, which among other things, brings in a new requirement stating that parental consent must be given before a child under the age of 16 can officially change their name or pronouns at school. 

Grasseschi said, “Parents should never be deleted from the lives of their children on any level” and also urged other governments to cultivate education systems that believe in parents. 

For Grasseschi and other families, the debate over Policy 713 is not about gender identity, but rather about respecting parental autonomy. “This actually isn’t about gender identity, it’s about parents.”

“I brought my child into this world, I fed them with my own body, and I deserve to be informed on these important issues of health and wellbeing.”

“If you’re going to delete me from my child’s life in this area, what other areas are you going to delete me from my child’s life in?” she asked. “If this is okay, then what else is okay?”

While intended to reflect the role of parents, Policy 713 changes have been criticized by trans activists, Liberal politicians and some Progressive Conservatives. 

Two PC cabinet ministers resigned following the policy change and several PC riding presidents have submitted letters to initiate a leadership review. They hope to remove Higgs as premier. 

“If people are catching what’s happening here, my gut sense is that if this goes to a vote with the members… he’s going to win,” Grasseschi said. “The people that are trying to oust him are probably gonna walk away with some egg on their face” because “they’ve picked the wrong issue.”

“There are too many parents that are waking up, that love their kids,” and “this is a line… when you start to mess with what is most precious to us and that is our children, that’s where people start to get involved, that in the past maybe haven’t been involved.”

Grasseschi noted that good legislation looks at the whole picture and finds appropriate ways to deal with issues that come to light. Most parents are loving, kind, generous and engaged and that simply want the best for their children. Hence education policies need to work for everyone.

“We need to cultivate a system that believes the best about parents,” said Grasseschi. Such a system must “make sure that we’re supporting good parents, rather than just playing defense against parents who are actually amazing.”

“Don’t assume every parent is a villain. I am not a villain,” added Grasseschi. 

The revised Policy 713 contains directives for schools to follow if a child does not yet feel comfortable discussing their gender identity with their parents.

“If it is not possible to obtain consent to talk to the parent, the student will be directed to the appropriate professional to work with them in the development of a plan to speak with their parents if and when they are ready to do so,” and if that “is not in the best interest of the child or could cause harm to the student (physical or mental threat),” then “the student will be directed to the appropriate school professional for support.”

A Leger poll commissioned by found that 69% of Maritimers agree that schools should make parents aware that their kids are wishing to change genders or pronouns, while several PC Party executives say the “silent majority” stands with the premier.

Grasseschi’s Don’t Delete Parents campaign is built around three goals; supporting Premier Higgs, not deleting parents and implementing school choice.

The campaign also has three calls to action; signing a pro-Higgs petition, emailing New Brunswick MLAs and sending the Premier a message of support. Grasseschi says copies of her pro-Higgs’ petition will be physically delivered every time it reaches 5000 signatures.

Grasseschi is the founder of 4MyCanada, an organization that “works to keep Canadians up to date on national items of interest and gives direction on how they can use their time, talent and influence to effect positive change.” She is also the host of Faytene TV, a show “speaking directly to the issues shaping Canada.”