Earlier this week I wrote you about changes Premier Danielle Smith is proposing in Alberta to policies regarding parental consent and notification for their children’s adoption of new names or pronouns at school as well as an opt-in for teaching about gender ideology. As we said in our last email, Smith’s educational measures build on pronoun policies announced last year done in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.
Today here are my thoughts on her medical and sports policies.
If you haven’t done so yet, watch the video she released on Jan 31 announcing these new policies in the areas of education, sport and medicine.
The medical news
As far as PAFE is concerned the centrepiece of Smith’s policies and where she is leading beyond Premier Higgs in New Brunswick and Premier Moe in Saskatchewan is in her medical policy. Hopefully Saskatchewan and New Brunswick will get caught up soon in these areas.
Smith’s policies will ban “top” (surgery on the torso) and “bottom” (surgery on the genitalia) surgeries for minors under 17. Children under 18 were already ineligible for “bottom” surgery in Alberta, but up to this point the required age for "top" surgery has been 16 years of age. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones won’t be allowed for children under 15.
Young adults 16-17 yrs old will require parental, physician, and psychologists’ approval to begin hormone therapy.
The facts that minor children will no longer be able to access sex-change surgeries and that 16-17-yr olds will be required to have parental permission before any medical sex-change therapy begins are big improvements over what parents in other Canadian provinces can expect.
Her measures could have been stronger if she had simply banned medical transition for students under 18, as is currently done in a variety of European countries, such as Sweden, Finland, Norway and the UK. But this is merely an area in which the policy could be tweaked, and in no way is meant to undermine Smith’s real achievements here.
Protecting girls in sports
Smith commits to allowing trans students to participate in sports, but she will not do it at the expense of women’s safety. Further she notes the obvious fact that “there are obvious biological realities that give transgender female athletes a massive competitive advantage over women and girls.”
Thank you Danielle Smith, for recognizing these biological realities!
Smith says her government will work with sporting organizations to protect women, by ensuring that they are not forced to compete against “biologically stronger transgender female athletes.” It will provide female athletes with the choice to compete in a women’s only division in athletic competitions. Her rationale? “It is not beneficial for those women, including those who are transgender, for this divisive and sometimes dangerous situation to continue.”
Even if her words are somewhat vague and express acceptance of, or at least a failure to challenge, the terminology of the gender ideologists (i.e. transgender female), she is saying what no other sitting Canadian politician has said. Her measures, if properly executed, will prevent women from being forced to compete against biological males who have greater strength, with the risk of injury that can entail for female athletes.
Smith is also trying to provide for trans athletes, to offer opportunities to compete by expanding co-ed or other gender-neutral divisions for competitions. The policy commits to working with sporting organizations to secure these options.
Great strides forward for Alberta
PAFE congratulates all the members of the United Conservative Party of Alberta (UCP) party who pushed for policies to improve parental controls over their children’s exposure to gender ideology in schools at their policy convention in the fall of 2023. Premier Smith listened and heard you!
As we said in our last email, Smith’s educational measures build on pronoun policies announced last year done in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. She innovates by requiring parental notification for 16- and 17-year-olds. PAFE wishes Smith had gone further and gotten to the ultimate root of the problem and demanded the elimination of instruction in gender ideology in the classroom.
In the areas of sport and medicine, Smith is introducing innovative policies reminiscent of what is being done in numerous states in the US by banning “top” surgery for minors, sex-change hormones for children under 15 and preventing biological males from accessing female sporting divisions to protect the health and safety of women.