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Conservative Party delegates embrace a ban on medical transition of children
Canada’s opposition Conservative Party, which is ahead in opinion polls, has adopted a resolution to prohibit medicalised gender change for minors.
Delegates at the party’s national convention in Quebec City on Saturday passed the resolution with a Yes vote of 69 per cent.
Resolution 1268 says—
“A Conservative government will protect children by prohibiting life-altering medicinal or surgical interventions to treat gender confusion or dysphoria, and encourage positive mental and physical health support for all Canadians suffering from gender dysphoria and related mental health challenges.”
The Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who will consider policies adopted at the convention but is not bound to include them in his election platform, has focused on cost of living issues, and has so far resisted taking a position on social and medical transition of children. Health is a provincial responsibility in Canada’s federation.
A recent Abacus Data poll suggested 40 per cent of committed voters would support the Conservatives, with 26 per cent for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal Party, 19 per cent for the New Democratic Party and four per cent for the Greens. A federal election is not due until October 2025, but there is speculation of an earlier vote.
Abacus Data’s David Coletto attributed the sizeable lead of the Conservatives to the electorate’s “negative impression” of Mr Trudeau and his government.
“The mood of the country remains decidedly negative. Only one in four feel the country is heading in the right direction,” Dr Coletto said.
“Children have the fundamental right to be protected from medicalised gender change and should be encouraged to ‘love and accept their bodies,’ according to a historic resolution embraced by the national committee of America’s Republican Party.”—news report, Gender Clinic News, 29 August 2023
Just too young
At Saturday’s Conservative convention in Quebec City, delegate Scott Anderson—whose electoral district of North Okanagan-Shuswap in British Columbia sponsored resolution 1268—argued that children were unable to make the “significant and substantial decision” to undergo medical transition.
“Such a step requires a degree of understanding of both male and female sex and sexuality that no child could or should possess,” he said.
“We don’t allow children to drink or drive or engage in sexual activity or join the military or even vote before the age of [adulthood and this] is understood by everyone.”
Canadian journalist and gender critical activist Mia Hughes told GCN she welcomed Conservative Party members finally showing the courage to take a stand “after years of wilfully ignoring the Canadians raising the alarm about the scandal of pediatric medical transition.”
“In my opinion, this sudden change of heart within the party can be attributed to brave Canadians speaking up, taking to the streets and demanding change, and refusing to be silenced any longer by the tiny minority of aggressive trans activists who’ve dominated the narrative for so long,” she said.
“For years, it felt as though this day would never come, that Canadians, with their desperate desire to be good, tolerant people, and their unwillingness to rock the boat, would never find it in them to oppose [paediatric medical transition]. But then the floodgates opened and the tide has turned with remarkable speed.
“If Poilievre has any sense, he’ll get behind this [policy] wholeheartedly. This is a winning issue for the Conservative Party.”
Video: Poilievre, Conservative momentum and gender ideology
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“Our Liberal Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has gone in hard for transgender boosterism—so hard that he seems to have left himself with no politically attractive way of backtracking now that the movement is losing popularity. Gender-bending spectacles and hashtags have become a big part of the Liberal effort to siphon young progressives from Canada’s (even more left-of-centre) New Democratic Party.”—opinion article, Margaret Wente/Jonathan Kay, Quillette magazine, 21 August 2023
Ms Hughes, who has previously written as Mia Ashton and tweets as Mia, noted that only two years ago the party voted unanimously to pass the Bill C-4, one of the current wave of anti-conversion therapy laws which risk entrenching the “gender-affirming” transition of children.
“In 2021, almost no one was aware of the scandal unfolding in paediatric gender clinics across the nation,” Ms Hughes said.
“The mainstream media regurgitated heart-warming stories about transgender children being affirmed and receiving necessary, life-saving medical care.
At the Conservative convention on Saturday, two delegates spoke against the resolution to ban paediatric medical transition, one a family physician who cited party values of “freedom and bodily autonomy” and protested that capacity to consent did not depend on age alone.
Another delegate argued against the resolution as a provincial matter, a political distraction from hip pocket issues and at odds with the image of a party competent and ready to govern.
This prompted a sharp rejoinder from Edmonton West delegate Michelle Badalich, who said (to much applause)—
“This is not just a federal or provincial or municipal issue—it’s around the world. We need to stand up for kids.
“As a psychologist, if someone who is schizophrenic needs help, I wouldn’t indulge their hallucinations and tell them that they’re real.
“The same goes for this—we are dealing with a mental disorder called gender dysphoria, which requires therapy, not irreversible procedures. Please protect our kids.”
As a final remark before the vote, Mr Anderson said: “Some things are simply too important to leave to parents and children.
“We recoil from such things as female circumcision—often called female genital mutilation—and why in the world would we allow much more extensive surgery and chemical modifications to a child who is unable to make that decision?”
“A woman in Ontario who identified as transgender and [as a young adult] underwent hormone therapy, a bilateral mastectomy, and a hysterectomy filed the first lawsuit in Canada against her healthcare providers for facilitating her transition. Michelle Zacchigna, a 34-year-old woman from Orillia, Ontario, recently announced a lawsuit she filed against the eight doctors and mental health professionals who treated her over the years, alleging that they failed to address her complex mental health needs and instead allowed her to self-diagnose as transgender and undergo irreversible procedures that she now regrets.”—news report, Christina Buttons, Daily Wire, 22 February 2023
Video: Ms Zacchigna is crowd-funding litigation which she hopes will “raise awareness about the reckless nature of ‘gender-affirming’ health care”
Adult human female
Saturday’s Conservative convention also endorsed a resolution—87 per cent of delegates voted Yes—upholding women’s sex-based rights under the title “Protecting female sports, intimate spaces and women’s rights.”
Resolution 999, which makes clear that the term woman means “female person”, says—
“The Conservative Party of Canada believes that women are entitled to the safety, dignity and privacy of single-sex spaces (e.g., prisons, shelters, locker rooms, washrooms) and the benefits of women-only categories (e.g., sports, awards, grants, scholarships).”
Sport performance coach Linda Blade, whose Edmonton Strathcona electoral district sponsored the resolution, told delegates: “Women in Canada need our help. Single-sex female-only spaces are disappearing in this country. It is not safe, it’s not fair.
“Please let the [Conservative Party] be the one that stands for women and girls. It is not anti-anything, it’s pro-women.”
One speaker against the resolution argued it would put Canada at odds with international trends in the design of sport facilities, while another warned it would allow Mr Trudeau to claim Conservatives were “dividing the country.”
Maddison Harvey, age 15, spoke in favour of the resolution—
“We as women cross the street to get away from groups of men. We avoid going out at night to stay safe. I’m 15, and more than once have I had to hide in restrooms with my nine-year-old sister and my 11-year-old sister to avoid men that have followed us around stores. And now we want to open up the doors [to males] and say, After you? Vote Yes to protect your daughters, wives and nieces.”
Ms Badalich, the psychologist, rose to speak again—
“Proposing spaces exclusive to biological women is not an extremist thought. It’s not even something that is subjective in nature. It is fundamentally wrong and unfair to allow biological men in our sports and spaces, which we have fought hard to acquire. Do what you know is right, not what a politician tells you is convenient.”
Dr Blade told GCN it would be up to a future Conservative government to decide whether or not to translate the sex-based rights policy into legislation.
“It’s not a given that a future Conservative prime minister will act, but at least now [the policy is] there and women will be able to pressure a Conservative government to make the amendments we desire a priority.”
Dr Blade said it had taken “a massive effort of lobbying and pushing” for her policy to survive elimination rounds leading up to the national convention.
“The fact that the policy actually passed on Saturday felt like a miracle. I can attribute much of the success to the power of a well-crafted submission combined with grassroots conservatives in Canada being fed up with the ideological nonsense. Timing is everything.”
She recalled the easy 2016 passage of the Liberals’ gender identity rights Bill C-16, which split the Conservatives (Yea:38, Nay:40) and became a platform for psychology professor Jordan Peterson’s defence of liberty.
“There has been complete capture in Canada for about half a decade. But the wear and tear of social strife caused by the woke nonsense and people like me getting weary of speaking out to no avail, had me consider a bit of a gambit,” Dr Blade said.
In 2022, she decided to re-engage with the party’s local electoral district and soon became chair of the policy committee, positioning her to contribute the sex-based rights proposal to the Conservatives’ national Ideas Lab.