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Is Canada finally seeing sense on trans?

Alberta’s premier is leading the fightback against the medical transitioning of children.

Meghan Murphy

Topics Identity Politics World

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The unthinkable has happened: Canadian politicians are turning against gender-identity ideology. Last month, the Conservative premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, made the shockingly reasonable decision to make it much harder for children in her province to medically transition.

Smith’s new policies will ban puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for those under the age of 15. So-called top and bottom gender-reassignment surgeries will be banned for under-17s. Parents will be notified if their children want to change their names and pronouns at school. And parents will have to opt in if they want their children to be taught about gender identity in the classroom.

Smith’s policies also touch on women’s sports. Male-born trans athletes will be banned from competing in women’s events. When announcing this, Smith acknowledged that ‘transgender women’ (ie, males) have many physical advantages over biological women. She has committed Alberta’s government to working with sporting organisations to protect sex-segregated sports for women and girls.

For Canada, a country widely known and mocked for its embrace of all things woke, these reasonable policy changes are unprecedented. Predictably, trans activists, usually accustomed to having full control over the narrative, are now in hysterics.

Federal employment minister Randy Boissonnault described Smith’s proposals as ‘the most draconian and harmful policies for young people in the country’. Rosman Valencia, from the Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP), responded even more dramatically. He shared an image on X of protesters outside Calgary City Hall. Some are holding a sign that reads: ‘Smith will kill trans kids.’ Addressing Smith, he added the caption: ‘You have blood on your hands.’

These attempts to portray Smith’s policy proposals as a death sentence for trans people are absurd, although they are to be expected. It is typical of the trans movement to frame this debate in such highly emotive language. Activists routinely claim that anything other than the full embrace of gender-identity ideology will lead to death for kids and adults identified as ‘trans’.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau’s response to Smith’s announcement was almost as theatrical, if equally nonsensical. ‘If Premier Smith wants to fight someone’, he declared, ‘fight with us to defend the rights of vulnerable Canadians, don’t fight against vulnerable LGBT youth’. Trans youth, he argued, are ‘among the most vulnerable… we need to be there to defend them’.

But what exactly does Trudeau mean by ‘defending the vulnerable’? To most Canadians, that surely means doing what we can to protect young people from being harmed by others or themselves. And that is exactly what Smith’s policies will do.

Children are, by nature, vulnerable. And it is true that many of those identifying as trans are especially vulnerable. They are often struggling with mental-health issues and childhood trauma, on top of all the normal challenges associated with puberty and adolescence. This is exactly why we need to protect them from medical interventions that can harm them for the rest of their lives.

The long-term effects of puberty blockers and hormones are not yet fully known. Children who receive them are making a choice that could prevent them from having a family and normal intimate relationships as adults. Meanwhile, so-called gender-reassignment surgeries can render those who undergo them unable to experience orgasm. Often they result in lifelong complications. A minor is in no position to consent to such procedures.

Thankfully, a growing number of Canadian politicians recognise this. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who has a good chance of beating Justin Trudeau in the next federal election, has come out in support of Smith. ‘We should protect children’, he said, ‘and their ability to make adult decisions when they are adults’.

In a sane world, this statement would be uncontroversial. But we are not living in a sane world. Instead, we have ‘progressive’ politicians trying to frame any attempt to protect vulnerable children as an attack on vulnerable children – as an attempt to take away their rights.

‘We’re terrified because we’re watching the next generation of our community lose the ability to grow up as themselves’, one trans activist told the Edmonton Journal. The truth is exactly the opposite. Those who support Danielle Smith’s policies are the ones who want kids to have the chance to grow up as themselves, without thinking their bodies must be medically altered.

No child is born in the wrong body. No minor needs cosmetic surgery in order to be themselves. And no adult in favour of Smith’s policy wants LGBT kids to suffer. We just want children to grow up to become healthy adults. This is not possible if you stop them from going through puberty and you cut off their healthy body parts.

Right now, ‘defending’ vulnerable children means protecting them from this sinister ideology. Alberta’s new policies are a good start.

Trudeau has said that the Canadian government ‘will always be there to protect youth’. Well, Mr Trudeau, it seems we need to protect youth from you. And I hope that Canadians will demonstrate as much when election time rolls around.

Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer exiled in Mexico. Follow her writing and podcast on Substack.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics World

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