OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he opposes the use of puberty blockers for transgender minors, arguing that children should “be able to make adult decisions when they are in grown up.”
Poilievre made the comment at a press conference on Parliament Hill on Wednesday after facing three consecutive days of questions from reporters on where he stood on Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s recently announced policies on trans and sex issues -ed by children.
Smith’s proposed policies include a ban on puberty blockers and hormone treatments for children under 16 and transplant surgery for those under 18 (although genital, or “bottom,” surgeries is currently only provided for gender dysphoric patients 18 years of age or older in Canada) .
Poilievre was circumspect in his comments on the issue. Until now, he has mostly accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of distracting from his record by spreading “disinformation” about decisions made by provinces and parents.
But after facing a barrage of questions from reporters on Wednesday, he said that “we must protect the rights of parents to make their own decisions about their children” and that “adults must have freedom to make whatever decisions they want about their children.” bodies.”
“I think we should protect the children. Let them make adult decisions when they are adults,” he added.
When asked specifically if he was against puberty blockers for minors, he said “yes.”
The Liberals and the NDP wasted no time attacking Poilievre’s position on puberty blockers.
“The fact that Premier Smith and Pierre Poilievre want the government to remove the option for parents and their vulnerable youth, in consultation with their doctors, to make the right decisions for them is anchored in ideology and not about protecting the youth,” Trudeau said.
Employment Minister and Alberta MP Randy Boissonnault said the use of puberty blockers is a conversation that should take place between a young person and their doctor.
“I don’t see ‘MD’ after the name of Pierre Poilievre or Danielle Smith. So, it’s none of their business,” said Boissonnault.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said medical decisions should be “based on evidence, based on science, based on best practice and not based on the opinion of Pierre Poilievre.”
NDP MP Randall Garrison has floated the idea of looking at what options are available under the Canada Health Act for the federal government to act against provinces that can deny sex-related medical treatments such as puberty blockers in minors.
However, he stopped short of suggesting that the federal government withhold health funds, saying that Alberta has not yet drafted its legislation on the matter.
Poilievre’s position is consistent with the membership of his party, which voted overwhelmingly at their September meeting to ban “life-changing drug or surgical interventions” for children, as well as treatment that could delay puberty and hinder the development of sex-linked features.
Julia Malott, a trans woman, described the effects of teens taking puberty blockers in a recent interview.
“If you want to not develop hips as a biological female, or if you want to not lower your voice, grow taller, develop a more defined jawline and facial features, you want to be on Lupron, the puberty blocker, and then you want to start with cross-sex hormones,” explains Malott.
“Doing it at 18 is too late,” she said, adding that starting the process as an adult reduces the risk of being accepted as the preferred gender.
Poilievre also said provinces should be able to make their own decisions on the terms of parental consent for sex education classes, which, under Smith’s proposed policy, would be mandatory for children who educate about gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Conservative leader accused Trudeau of “trying to divide Canadians and attack parents who are trying to protect their children,” and predicted this position would not hold.
“Ultimately, he’s going to back down on this, just like he had to back down on his gun policy. Just like he had to back down on bringing in medical aid in dying for people suffering from mental illness. It seems like he’s back down over and over again, ” he said.
“He is not interested in protecting children. He is interested in using this as a divisive wedge to distract from doubling housing costs, and quadrupling the carbon tax on our people.”
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