A trustee in Edmonton's Catholic board is ruffling feathers after comparing transgender students with the mentally ill.
"I see that as a mental disorder, my faith sees it as a mental disorder," said Larry Kowalczyk in an interview prior to a board meeting on the subject of gender-neutral school washrooms.
"My stand is with that of the church," he said. "God has not made a mistake in the gender of me, or you, or anyone else."
Though Kowalczyk maintained that transgender students should "be treated as human beings," he admitted that he regarded transgenderism as a mental condition like schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder.
As such, being transgender in his view is a choice, an identity if you will. He vehemently opposed the idea of allowing a student to use a washroom that doesn't align with their sex.
The Edmonton Archdiocese recommends gender-neutral washrooms for Catholic schools, but surely this solution would take a significant amount of time and money to implement - not to mention further ostracizing students who simply want to belong.
And in the meantime what happens to the unnamed seven-year-old transgender girl banned from using the female washrooms at her school?
"By allowing a policy to be adopted without education on, comparison for, nor understanding of the topic of transgender is blasphemy in itself," said the girl's mother at the tense meeting. "I hold myself accountable for being naive enough to believe what this board has told me about having my child's best interest in heart when that, to date, has not been the case."
It seems that despite intense media coverage, transgenderism is still little understood. And while it may not qualify as a mental disorder, the kind of ignorance on show from the likes of this board trustee must. Education for the educators.
Here's a gadget guaranteed to get your heart racing faster than a FitBit. Apple has teamed up with medical tech company AirStrip and and Sense4Baby, a home fetal ultrasound monitoring system, to create a watch that can detect your heartbeat - and your baby's - remotely.
Though this kind of technology has been available since 2004, it has only been used in hospitals and medical settings.
Now data, like heart rates, blood pressure and weight, can be easily transmitted to your doctor while you lay on the couch sipping your ginger tea (OK - who am I kidding - wolfing down an entire box of ginger cookies in one sitting). And all this mass of data can be easily tracked and compared.
With this new gadget you would no longer have to waddle to and from prenatal check-ups, which is especially great news for expectant moms who live in Timbuktu or for those with risky conditions like pre-eclampsia that require frequent monitoring.
Cool, right? Well, yes and no.
Fetal heart rate monitoring is stressful enough as it is. Would being able to hear your baby 24/7 at the push of a button actually make you more relaxed and serene - or simply more paranoid?
With any technology, there is an inherent risk that at some point it just. won't. work. How far would you trust the newfangled gizmo on your wrist?
It's the moment you've been waiting for... No, George Clooney is not single again. Neither is Ryan Gosling for that matter. Facebook has finally heeded your prayers with the creation of a new button.
But hold your horses, Mark Zuckerberg. Before you get ahead of yourself, it's not so simple as creating a yin to the "like" yang.
Almost since the dawn of Facebook, there has been a need to express empathy or sympathy on certain status postings. When someone's pet dies or they spill their latte all over their cream slacks - situations in which "liking" the status just doesn't send the right message or feel at all appropriate, let alone supportive.
No, we don't "like" when bad things happen to our friends. Yet Facebook has long rallied against the idea of a "dislike" button since the CEO was concerned that it would be used to up or down vote people’s posts.
So instead, we are getting an empathy button. Not only will you be able to better express your emotional self on social media, but - and here's the crucial bit - Facebook will glean ever more data about what makes you tick so it can brief its advertisers accordingly.
Think in terms of charities and gut-wrenching headlines. That extra intel is precious for feeding the social media site's algorithm.
It seems even what goes on inside your heart is no longer private. Can you empathize with that?