Poilievre Says Canadians Support Alberta Premier’s Child Transition Policies

Poilievre Says Canadians Support Alberta Premier’s Child Transition Policies
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre makes an announcement in Pointe-Claire, Que., on Feb. 15, 2024. (Noé Chartier/The Epoch Times)
Noé Chartier

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has lent further support to Alberta’s policies on child transition in his comments on a new poll showing that there is most support for Alberta’s policies among the available options.

“Canadians support Premier Smith’s common sense protections of children. Trudeau must butt out,” Mr. Poilievre said in a post on X on Feb. 17.

The post contains a screenshot and a link to a Feb. 16 National Post article reporting on a Postmedia poll, titled, “Nearly half of Canadians support banning surgery and hormones for trans kids: exclusive poll.”

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced on Jan. 31 that the province is banning gender-altering surgery for minors under 18 and prohibiting those under 16 from using puberty blockers. Parental consent will also need to be sought if a child under 16 wants to change pronouns or names at school.

The Postmedia poll, conducted by Léger, asked Canadians’ views on the matter.

In general, the findings show an overwhelming majority either support Alberta’s policies or at least believe parental consent is necessary.

The survey shows that 45 percent of respondents support a blanket ban on gender-reassignment surgery for minors, while just 11 percent agreed that minors should be allowed to undergo such surgery without parental consent. Around 30 percent said they support such medical interventions with parental consent.

On the issue of puberty blockers and hormone therapy, 42 percent of respondents said they opposed these interventions for minors under 16, again making support for Alberta’s policies the most popular response by a large margin. A little over a quarter (26 percent) said such medical interventions should be allowed with parental consent, whereas only 11 percent said parental consent is not necessary.

‘Common Sense’

Andrew Enns, an executive vice-president at Léger, told the National Post that Ms. Smith is “not wildly off the mark with respect to where public opinion generally is starting from.” He added that he was “a little bit surprised” by the poll results given the “kind of reaction” that came following Alberta’s announcement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Feb. 2 accused Ms. Smith of adopting the “most anti-LGBT policies” in Canada.
“We need to be there to defend [LGBT youth],” he said, adding that it was “telling” that Ms. Smith made the announcement after “welcoming far-right American conservative Tucker Carlson to her province.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Poilievre was repeatedly asked by media to spell out his stance after Alberta’s announcement.

The Conservative Party adopted a policy proposal to ban sex-change procedures for minors at its September 2023 convention, but Mr. Poilievre has not put a focus on this and related issues to date, saying they should be left to parents and the provinces.
When first asked to comment on Feb. 5 following Ms. Smith’s announcement, Mr. Poilievre said his party stands for “common sense, like on everything else.”

“Let parents raise kids and provinces run schools and hospitals,” he said, adding that Mr. Trudeau was trying to use this as a “wedge issue.”

Responding to requests for comment again on Feb. 6, Mr. Poilievre said the media and the Liberal government are trying to “misrepresent” Alberta’s policies as well as the position of Conservatives on these issues by not spelling out what the policies are trying to address, and that the peddling of such “disinformation” is meant to “demonize Premier Smith and parents.”
Mr. Poilievre responded more specifically on Feb. 7, saying he opposes puberty blockers for children.

“I think we should protect children. Let them make adult decisions when they become adults,” he said.

Chandra Philip contributed to this report.