Liberal Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien has elicited backlash from Canadians after she said requiring parental consent for children to use different pronouns was a “life or death” situation. 

Ien is following in the footsteps of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in opposing parental consent policies recently introduced in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and elsewhere. 

On Thursday, Ien posted a Canadian Press article on X (formerly Twitter) in which she characterizes the stakes of the policies as potentially fatal.

“This is a life-or-death situation and it’s not about what do I think – it’s looking to the numbers,” claimed Ien. 

“What I can tell you is that we’re watching closely as this develops. Obviously anything is possible, but I’m not going to comment on anything hypothetical at this time.”

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe’s government recently introduced legislation which would ban third party sex-ed providers from schools after Planned Parenthood introduced sexually graphic material in a grade 9 classroom earlier this summer. 

“Parents must be included in all important decisions involving their children,” said Moe. 

Moe’s policy will also require parental consent for kids under the age of 16 who want to go by a different name or pronoun while at school.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has also stood by his own government’s changes to education policy which will also require parental consent for pronoun use. 

Earlier this year, Trudeau claimed that “far-right political actors” were behind the push to enshrine parental rights in education policy. 

“Trans kids need to feel safe, not targeted by politicians. We have to stand against this,” said Trudeau in June. 

“Far-right political actors are trying to outdo themselves with the types of cruelty and isolation they can inflict on these already vulnerable people. Right now, trans kids in New Brunswick are being told they don’t have the right to be their true selves, that they need to ask permission.”