TRANSGENDER – Transgender children under the age of 17 will be barred from undergoing gender undergoing gender reassignment surgery and puberty blockers will be banned for anyone under 16, in a raft of new measures announced by the head of Canada‘s Alberta province.
Danielle Smith, the premiere of Alberta, detailed the policy change in a video posted to her social media on Wednesday.
Smith, a member of the United Conservative Party, said the aim was to protect children, while also expanding provisions for adult trans healthcare. She has angered officials from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which has taken a so-called ‘affirming’ stance on procedures for children who say they are trans.
The new Policy Surrounding Trans, Children, …
She said that she wanted all people to feel welcome and supported in Alberta – a sparsely-populated province of 4.4 million people bordering British Colombia in western Canada, with Calgary its largest city.
But, she said, she was not prepared to roll the dice with ‘complex and often changing emotions of those teenagers’.
‘Making permanent and irreversible decisions regarding one’s biological sex, while still a youth, can severely limit that child’s choices in the future,’ said Smith.
She said opting for life-changing medical procedures ‘poses a risk to that child’s future.’
Children are Banned
Under Smith’s new policy, all children under the age of 17 are banned from having top and bottom surgery.
Children aged 15 and under are banned from taking puberty blockers and hormone therapy, unless such therapy has already started. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 can start hormone therapy as long as they have permission from their parents, a physician and a psychologist.
Parents will need to give permission before a student aged 15 and under can use a name or pronoun at school other than what they were given at birth: those aged 16 and 17 won’t require parental permission, but the schools will have to inform the parents.
Teaching materials about sexuality and gender orientation will need approval from the province’s education ministry, and parents must opt in for each class – rather than opting out.
As it is
Finally, transgender girls will not be allowed to compete in girls’ sport.
Dr David Jacobs, president of the Ontario Association of Radiologists, praised the policy.
Some Love the Initiative
‘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 preeminent lesbian’, wrote on X: ‘So happy to see so many different issues considered here, thank you.’
And civil rights attorney Lisa Bildy wrote: ‘Well done, Premier! You confronted the issue head on with grace, humanity and common sense.
‘You won’t make everyone happy, but child & youth protection (from ideologues, especially in schools) and fairness in sport were sorely needed, and this policy will deliver on both.’
Smith’s plan, praised by some as moderate and rational, puts her on a collision course with Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister.
Some are Disappointed as Well
Trudeau’s youth minister, Marci Ien, said she was ‘incredibly disappointed’ with Smith’s move, saying such policies are deliberately ‘dangerous.’
Kristopher Wells, the Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, also sharply criticized Smith’s changes.
‘It is a full-on attack against trans and 2SLGBTQ+ communities,’ Wells, who is with MacEwan University in Edmonton, posted on X.
‘There is no evidence or research to support any of these recommendations.
‘It is not only immoral, it is illegal.’
Canada’s government has been famously progressive on transgender issues.
Last year a transgender teacher called Kayla Lemieux sparked fury by showing up to work with huge prosthetic breasts and a blonde wig, only to later swap them for regular male clothes.
The province of Ontario, where Lemieux works, refused to take action against her.