Bill 18 passes in Manitoba legislature

Bill 18, the Manitoba government's controversial anti-bullying legislation, has been passed into law.
NDP MLAs applaud as Bill 18 passes the final vote in the legislature late Friday afternoon. (Louis-Philippe Leblanc/CBC)

Bill 18, the Manitoba government's controversial anti-bullying legislation, has been passed.

The public schools amendment act (safe and inclusive schools) passed third reading 36-16 late Friday afternoon.

NDP MLAs stood up and applauded after the vote results were announced, with some hugging Education Minister Nancy Allan.

A clause in the legislation has concerned some religious educators and community members because it will require schools to accommodate students who want to start specific anti-bullying clubs, including gay-straight alliances (GSAs).

Some who attended public hearings on the bill earlier this month argued that forcing schools to accommodate GSAs goes against their own beliefs and infringes on religious freedoms.

Supporters of the bill have included numerous public school boards, organizations representing school boards and teachers, and LGBT groups.

Bill 18 was among 10 bills that were passed into law on Friday. The others include:

MLAs will now take a break from a marathon summer-long session. They will return to the legislature on Nov. 12 with the Speech from the Throne.


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