Maxime Bernier Reveals “Radical Gender Ideology” Policy Before School Board Meeting On Potential 2SLGBTQ+ Book Banning

The school board voted six to one not to move ahead with a review of the books in question.

Peter Smith
Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Source: YouTube

Former member of parliament and founder of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier sat in the audience of a school board meeting in Manitoba exploring the topic of removing books discussing sexual health and 2SLGBTQ+ identities from its libraries. 

Brandon School Division ultimately voted not to remove any of the books in question from its shelves, a choice met by raucous applause from the packed auditorium. 

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A total of 31 delegates registered to speak. Of those who delegated, all but two were in favour of keeping the books in their place. The meeting was held in response to a delegation at a meeting on May 8 by former trustee, Lorraine Hackenschmidt, who asked for a committee to review books she categorized as grooming children and supporting pedophilia

"We must protect our children from sexual grooming and pedophilia. The sexualization agenda is robbing children of their innocence,” Hackenschmidt said.

This conflation of the discussion of gender identity with children to sexual abuse is a common tactic deployed against LGBTQ, and specifically transgender people, casting them as inherent abusers and saying they promoted a “dangerous path our children are being enticed to go down.”

Books given as examples included Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen, by Jazz Jennings; The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; and Katie Rain Hill’s Rethinking Normal: A Memoir In Transition.

"Any books that caused our kids to question whether they are in the wrong body," Hackenschmidt stated. 

Since her remarks, the division says it has been inundated with messages reportedly receiving “289 emails and letters” to its division office The board said the number is likely much higher as many messages were sent directly to trustees. 

Delegates opposing the committee to review and potentially ban books included current and former students, parents, academics, librarians, advocates, educators, and more. Many categorized Hackenschmidt’s statements as containing falsehoods and promoting censorship.  

“There were some familiar but harmful book ban tactics used in the presentation and we think it’s important to draw attention to one of them,” said Dr. Alysha Farrell, an associate professor at Brandon University’s Faculty of Education. 

“In an attempt to push all of you to overlook your school division's stated commitments to inclusion, the presenter used emotionally charged language, decontextualized references to the books under attack, and then made what I can only describe as an outrageous link to sexual grooming.”

Farrell adds that the harm to students targeted by these tactics is “immediate.”

“They create a hostile environment for young people who are already marginalized.” 

The Canadian Center for Child Protection (C3P) also took issue with Hackenschmidt citing their work during her previous delegation, calling it a “gross misuse” of their research.

“This information, as noted on our site, is specific to children coming across adult pornography online,” the organization wrote. “C3P does not support or condone the ways in which our resources were misrepresented, and we were deeply troubled to see them used in this way.

Trustee Breeanna Sieklicki was the only member of the board in attendance to support the creation of the committee on Tuesday. During the May 8 meeting, she applauded Hackenschmidt's “courage” in bringing the issue forward – a statement some of last night’s delegates took issue with. 

“Being courageous is the ability to be open-minded and have self-reflection about your own prejudice and bias,” a parent said to Sieklicki. “The ones who are courageous are the members of this community who are fighting every day to be accepted in a world full of hate just because of who they are.”

In remarks on Tuesday, Sieklicki said she does believe that many of the books contain inappropriate sexual content and supports a review of their contents – emphasizing she meant this broadly, not just for books with LGBTQ themes. 

While parents and residents supporting the creation of the committee did speak, they and their supporters in the audience were outnumbered. Seated among the audience was PPC leader Maxime Bernier. Recently announcing his intention to run for parliament in the Manitoba riding of Portage-Lisgar earlier in the day, he released a policy platform on “Radical Gender Ideology,” calling it an “evil agenda.”

‘With the active support of the woke far left and all establishment parties, including Pierre Poilievre and the fake Conservatives, radical trans activists are trying to destroy one of the key building blocks of a healthy society – the distinction between men and women.”

The PPC has failed over two federal elections to gain a seat in parliament – Bernier himself was an incumbent MP in Beauce, QC but lost his seat after leaving the Conservative Party of Canada. 

Bernier did not delegate during the meeting but the party’s new gender policy lays out a series of accusations commonly levelled at transgender people. 

“In recent years, cultural Marxists and radical activists in the media, government, and schools have made every effort to normalize toxic transgender ideology,” the policy reads. “They teach children that stereotypes determine their gender, and if they do not fit into the traditional male or female gender roles, they encourage them to think they were born in the wrong body.”

The policy states it would repeal C-16, the bill that included gender self-identification as grounds for protection against discrimination; C-4, a bill banning the practice of “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ people; and to “strictly enforce” the Criminal Code to remove inappropriate pornographic content from schools and libraries.

“Last week, I met parents who are trying to get books removed from school libraries that promote gender ideology and contain inappropriate pornographic images,” Bernier said in a statement before the meeting in Brandon. “There is actually an article in the Criminal Code that says it’s illegal to make such images available to minors. Why is it not enforced?”

Bernier and the PPC have long included gender identity as issues mainstream politics is failing to address, often accusing Conservative candidates as failing in their duty to stand against “gender ideology.”

Far from his only controversy, Bernier drew fire even when still a member of the Conservative party for statements made about a “Cult of victimhood and obsession with past wrongs,” during discussions for a potential day of remembrance for Indigenous children who suffered under the residential school program. 

When he left the CPC, he called the party morally bankrupt and added that a focus on racial issues will "divide us into little tribes" and bring "distrust, social conflict, and potentially violence."

Bernier refused to condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attack that left 51 Muslims tragically slain. While telling the press at the time he, as a rule, does not condemn any terror attacks in foreign countries, others quickly pointed out he has done so repeatedly in the past when the perpetrators were Muslim

Bernier reportedly did not stay for the duration of the Brandon School Division meeting, but when trustees took turns speaking at the end of the meeting, 

“Most of you noticed Maxime Bernier here tonight,” Trustee Duncan Ross said, opposing the creation of the committee. “He probably thought he would find allies in our communities. He was wrong.”

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