Canadians who were born in New Brunswick will now have the freedom to identify as non-binary on their birth certificates as the province announced that they will have an X marker as a non-binary identifier. This new change will be put in place later this year and anyone who wishes to make the change on their birth certificate can do so free of charge.
The change follows the 2017 decision that allowed for a third gender marker to be used on New Brunswick's provincial driver's license. Now, New Brunswick is planning on being more inclusive by also offering the same option for their birth certificates. Service New Brunswick Minister Sherry Wilson told CBC that the government of New Brunswick understands that gender is not only defined as male and female and including a non-binary option will help to make the province more inclusive.
Anyone who wishes to change their birth certificate can do so when the new policy takes place later this year. For anyone who is wishing to change their M or F birth certificate to a non-binary X, the marker can do so at absolutely no cost.
At the moment, it is unclear how old you have to be for the X marker to be applied to a birth certificate. CBC states that while the change will be possible, no rules have been put in place for whether parents can use the X when they first apply for their children's birth certificates, or if it has to be changed later on.
However, New Brunswick isn't the first Canadian province to pass this jurisdiction for a non-binary birth certificate. New Brunswick will actually be the sixth place after Nova Scotia, Ontario, Newfoundland, Alberta, Yukon and the North West Territories. People born in Saskatchewan and Ontario also have the option of having no gender listed on their birth certificates.
According to CBC, Ontario issued their first non-binary birth certificate back in May 2018. The first birth certificate was placed under the province after an Ontarian was in a year-long legal battle with the government over the issue.
Joshua Ferguson, who did not identify as either a male or female wished for this to also be reflected on their birth certificate. After they filed a human rights complaint about not being able to claim X on their certificate, it eventually prompted an entire policy change. Now, any Ontarian is able to claim X on their birth certificate with no additional costs.
While New Brunswick will be implementing this policy change for their birth certificates later this year, no official date for this big change has been released.