A look at some reaction to the Alberta government’s proposed transgender policies

By The Canadian Press

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has announced changes to rules surrounding transgender youth.

Policies include requiring parental consent for children 15 and under who want to change their names or pronouns at school; students 16 and 17 would not need consent, but their parents would have to be notified.

Gender reassignment surgery would also be banned for those 17 and under, and puberty blockers and hormone therapies for the purpose of gender reassignment or affirmation would not be allowed for those 15 and younger.

“One of the greatest responsibilities we as parents, teachers and community leaders have is to preserve for our children the right to grow and develop into mature adults, so that they are better prepared to make the most impactful decisions affecting their lives,” Smith said Wednesday.

Here’s a look at some of the reaction:

“At its core, Danielle Smith is playing dangerous politics with the lives of young people,” — Alberta Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley

“I thought we were at a place in this country where we’re moving past this … it’s extremely dangerous to engage in this kind of thing, which I think is playing politics when you’re talking about children’s lives.” — Federal Health Minister Mark Holland

“I think actually targeting that small minority for some political purpose in Alberta — as it seems that the premier is doing — is not becoming of her office and is in fact actually targeting and perhaps even demonizing those children.” — Federal Justice Minister Arif Virani

“The government of Alberta has chosen to play politics with some of the most vulnerable members of our society: trans and gender-diverse youth, attacking them for cheap political points to appeal to a far-right base. We will not stand for it.” — Egale Canada and Skipping Stone Foundation

“These policies are a clear and blatant attack on freedom. The implementation of these policies will create further divisions and will make it dangerous for trans and gender diverse youth and adults in Alberta.” — Harini Sivalingam with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

“We are concerned about the chilling effect placed on classrooms and schools, impacting our ability to provide safe, caring and inclusive spaces for all students.” — Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association

“This is our NATO moment as an LGTBQ community. An attack on one of our communities is an attack on us all. I need allies and champions to stand up. If there’s ever been a time in this century for people to stand up for the kind of Canada and Alberta we want, it’s today.” — Federal Liberal cabinet minister Randy Boissonault, who represents Edmonton Centre

“We cannot be weak in the face of this, and we cannot turn our backs on the trans community. Together, it is our responsibility to ensure that decades of hard-fought battles for human rights are not wiped out. Because this is just the start.” — Calgary Mayor Joyti Gondek

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today