The Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Ward 8 trustee Shelley Laskin told a parent supportive of the nationwide One Million March for Children that parental rights do not exist in Canada and that there are only children’s rights.

Laskin’s comments attacking the concept of parental rights came after a concerned parent emailed the trustee, expressing displeasure with the TDSB’s vocal opposition to the demonstrations happening across the country. 

The TDSB had emailed the district’s parents with a letter from the TDSB’s director of education Colleen Russell-Rawlins and her associate directors preemptively denouncing the protests as “inflammatory,” “transphobic,” and “hateful.” 

In response to the TDSB letter, the concerned parent sent a letter of his own to the TDSB, expressing his concerns he had with the TDSB’s statement which he claims misrepresents the diverse communities represented at the march. 

Ward 8 trustee Laskin replied to the parent’s letter, disputing his claims to any parental rights that he has and attacking the demonstrations for allegedly being organized by hateful groups. 

Laskin says that she learned parental rights do not exist in Canada from a TikTok video reposted to X (formerly Twitter) by an anti-conservative creator, depicting a transgender law professor from the University of Alberta explaining why the concept of parental rights is “American.”

“From the video in the post below, there is no such thing as “parental rights” in Canada that you mention,” said Laskin.

“There are children’s rights.”

Laskin disparaged the slogan “Hands Off Our Kids” as being “religious and openly intolerant of the 2SLGBTQ+ community” and said that the demonstrators were protesting “things that are NOT taught” in schools. 

Laskin also linked to a report from the Canadian Anti Hate Network, a far-left activist organization that has spread misleading claims before.

The Anti Hate Network’s report makes unsubstantiated claims that the “protests are supported by a big tent of far-right and conspiratorial groups, including Christian Nationalists, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, sovereign citizens, and anti-public education activists.” 

True North reached out to Laskin for comment, asking her to clarify her position on parental rights. Laskin did not respond before the given deadline.