Conservative Canadian leader infuriates Trudeau officials by BANNING sex change procedures for children, trans women from female sports and teachers from hiding pronoun changes in Alberta province
Transgender children under the age of 17 will be banned from undergoing gender reassignment surgery and puberty blockers will be banned for anyone under 16, in a series of new measures announced by the head of Canada’s Alberta province.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith outlined the policy change in a video posted on her social media Wednesday.
Smith, a member of the United Conservative Party, said the aim was to protect children, while also expanding provision for trans health care for adults. She has angered officials from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which has taken a so-called “affirmative” stance on procedures for children who say they are trans.
She said she wants all people to feel welcome and supported in Alberta – a sparsely populated province of 4.4 million people that borders British Columbia in western Canada, with Calgary as its largest city.
But, she said, she was unwilling to roll the dice with “complex and often changing emotions of those teenagers.”
“Making permanent and irreversible decisions about one’s biological sex while still a young person can severely limit that child’s choices in the future,” Smith said.
Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, was able to announce the changes in policy towards trans youth on Wednesday
She said opting for life-changing medical procedures ‘poses a risk to that child’s future.’
According to Smith’s new policy, all children under the age of 17 are prohibited from undergoing upper and lower surgeries.
Children aged 15 and under are prohibited from taking puberty blockers and hormone therapy, unless such therapy has already begun. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 can start hormone therapy as long as they have permission from their parents, a doctor and a psychologist.
Parents will need to give permission before a student aged 15 and under can use a different name or pronoun at school than the one they were given at birth: those aged 16 and 17 will not need parental permission, but the schools will the parents.
Teaching materials on sexuality and gender orientation will need approval from the province’s education ministry, and parents must sign in for each class – rather than opt out.
Finally, transgender girls will not be allowed to compete in girls’ sports.
Smith is seen running for re-election in May 2023. She worked in the media before politics
Smith said they are working to create both competitive and gender-neutral competitions in response to the ban.
“I strongly believe that those who were born male but have transitioned or identify as female are owed the opportunity to meaningfully participate in sports,” she said.
“However, there are obvious biological realities that give transgender athletes a massive biological advantage over women and girls.”
She said that girls ‘shouldn’t be forced to compete against biologically stronger transgender athletes.’
Smith, a 52-year-old former media personality who has governed Alberta since October 2022, said she appreciates the sensitivity of the subject.
“I understand how controversial and divisive discussions of transgender issues can be,” she said, adding that she tried to “depoliticize the discussion and focus on the well-being of those involved.”
She said she is also working to improve access to health care for trans adults living in her province.
Right now, they have to cross the country for specialist care in Quebec — Alberta’s capital, Edmonton, is 2,300 miles from Quebec City.
Dr. David Jacobs, president of the Ontario Association of Radiologists, praised the policy.
“This is a balanced and reasonable approach to an extremely complex social, medical, biological and sexual issue,” he said. “It’s worth a listen.”
Eva Kurilova, a writer who describes herself as ‘Canada’s leading lesbian’, wrote on X: ‘So happy to see so many different issues being considered here, thank you.’
And civil rights lawyer Lisa Bildy wrote: ‘Well done Premier! You faced the issue with grace, humanity and common sense.
‘You won’t make everyone happy, but child and youth protection (against ideologues, especially in schools) and fairness in sport were badly needed, and this policy will achieve both.’
Smith’s plan, hailed by some as moderate and rational, puts her on a collision course with Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister.
Smith is seen with Justin Trudeau during a meeting in Ottawa in February 2023
Trudeau’s youth minister, Marci Ien, said she was “incredibly disappointed” with Smith’s move, saying such policies are intentionally “dangerous.”
Kristopher Wells, the Canada Research Chair in the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, also sharply criticized Smith’s changes.
“This is a complete attack on trans and 2SLGBTQ+ communities,” Wells, who is at MacEwan University in Edmonton, posted on X.
‘There is no evidence or research to support any of these recommendations.
“It’s not only immoral, it’s illegal.”
The president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association said he is concerned about how the changes will affect the safety of some of the province’s most vulnerable students.
“We are concerned about the chilling effect placed on classrooms and schools, affecting our ability to provide safe, caring and inclusive spaces for all students,” said Jason Schilling.
‘We are concerned about how students may feel forced to suppress their identity and be afraid to reach out to teachers as a means of support.’
Protesters are pictured in Calgary on September 20, voicing their concerns about gender education in schools
The Calgary activists took to the streets to demand stricter rules on LGBTQ+ education in Alberta
Counter-protesters are seen in Calgary on September 20, calling for an end to the ‘harassment’ of trans children.
Members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and allies, stand in opposition across the street from the Million March 4th Children’s Rally in downtown Calgary on September 20
Smith will hold a press conference on Thursday to provide more details.
Alberta becomes the third province to announce a parental consent requirement in schools, CTV News reported.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick introduced similar rules last year requiring permission for students 16 and under to change their names or pronouns. Protests and court challenges followed.
Saskatchewan also used the rarely used clause to override certain Charter rights by enacting the policy.
In the United States, 19 states have passed some form of restrictions on trans youth.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the US, declared the first ever national emergency for the LGBTQ+ community in June in response to the increase in legislation.