Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Alberta Premier Jason Kenney hosts a Stampede breakfast in Calgary, Monday.

Protesters target Alberta premier at Stampede over gay-straight alliances

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was met at his Calgary Stampede pancake breakfast by a handful of people voicing opposition to an education law that they say puts gay and transgender students at risk.

Kenney was shaking hands and taking photos in a mostly friendly crowd when two women wearing T-shirts reading “outing kids is not in my job description” tried unsuccessfully to have their pictures taken with the premier.

The United Conservative government passed legislation last week that erases measures brought in by the previous NDP government to strengthen protections for gay-straight alliances.

The clubs are meant to prevent bullying and foster acceptance of LGBTQ kids in schools.

The previous law included a ban on school staff informing parents if students join GSAs and a requirement that clubs be set up immediately if students want one.

The UCP government has said it does not support automatic parental notification, but that the NDP’s legislation was too blunt an instrument and school staff should be able to use their judgement in certain cases.

There have been various protests across the province since the UCP made the Election Act part of its campaign platform in the leadup to the April provincial election.

Former NDP Premier Rachel Notley has said the new legislation strips away protections for vulnerable youth.

One woman wearing a rainbow “Born this Way” flag as a cape said Monday she was hoping to buttonhole her legislature member at the Stampede breakfast to make her concerns known.

“I came here as an ally for the LGBTQ community because the UCP recently passed Bill 8 without adding any of the crucial amendments put forward by the official Opposition that would have helped ensure that GSAs stayed protected both in public and private schools,” Victoria Goleski said.

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