We are pleased to announce and celebrate the decision today of Justice Krogan of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan. This decision, giving the right of all Saskatchewan citizens, regardless of their age to change their gender identity or sex designation on their birth certificate to reflect who they are as they choose. That choice remains M or F or removing any reference to gender or sex or having a birth certificate issued without such a marker. The process will be as simple as requesting the change through the proper government agency using a form soon to be made available.
“Though we as parents did this for our own children, this decision applies to everyone, regardless of age, race, or belief. We have fought for over five years for Renn. This victory is a precedent for all who identify as transgender or non-binary or have been harmed by discrimination because of their gender marker, including women, two-spirit, gay and lesbian persons. Today we can all rejoice in this massive step forward and its history-making impact on the lives of our youth and everyone.” said Dr. Frans Forsberg, parent of Renn Forsberg, two of the key persons who took this case forward. “Renn is a Cree two-spirit young woman and this decision honours her right to live proud and free to be as her spirit guides her.”
“This is an amazing step in the right direction. This will allow every single person in Saskatchewan, regardless of age to be identified as whom they are. As a father of a non-binary person who has struggled with not being able to identify as whom they truly are, this means the world to me. I am so happy to be part of this group of youth and parents who had the courage to seek to enforce their human rights and to succeed in this decision” said Dustin Dyck, parent of Jordan Dyck, two key persons who took this case forward.
Jordyn Dyck added: “I am unbelievably happy that all people of Saskatchewan can now change their ID to reflect who they are through self-determination. Thank you to Larry Kowalchuk and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for the hard work they did to make this possible.”
Family friend Keyanna Hall congratulated Justice Krogan, as well as Human Rights Commission lawyers Scott Newell and Meghan Seidle and the legal team of Micah and Larry Kowalchuk for their diligent and tireless work. “We are truly grateful. Their work has provided a wonderful outcome for all trans, queer and non-binary peoples of all ages in Saskatchewan today and for future generations” she added.
Larry Kowalchuk had this to say: “We are honoured to be here on this historic day and embrace this precedent-setting decision from our courts. This decision is about the right of everyone to be allowed to love whom you are, to be free to be you, not who others say you are or must be. This paves the way for a more open and accepting world – a society where children and youth get to live the lives they feel true to. It may be the first time in the world where a court has decided that self-determination is a human right for two-spirit, transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming citizens.” He added: “Perhaps this a turning point and an opportunity for us all to promote the human right to dignity and respect, to self -express in a way that promotes love and peace, to honour the right of youth to build self-esteem on their own terms and to end the terrible harm we have caused. Let’s make this our commitment.”
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Heather is a lawyer in the firm’s Edmonton office. Her practice primarily focuses on workplace matters, including wrongful dismissals, severance review, workplace harassment, human rights issues and discrimination, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.