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Quebec policy restricting gender-neutral bathrooms in schools enters into effect

Quebec’s new rules banning the construction of shared gender-neutral bathrooms in schools come into effect today.

The government directive requires that all new bathrooms and locker rooms in schools across the province be designated for either boys or girls.

School service centres, however, do have to ensure any student who wishes to use an individual universal bathroom has access to one.

Education Minister Bernard Drainville issued the directive after news that a high school in Rouyn-Noranda, in the province’s northwest, was starting work to provide gender-neutral bathrooms to its students for the 2024-25 school year.

The government created an expert panel in December to propose recommendations by next winter on how the province can accommodate gender diverse people.

But Drainville told reporters today his bathroom rule can go ahead because he doesn’t think the panel will recommend against it.

“It’s a question of well-being, privacy and respect for private life,” Drainville said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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