Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “butt out” of education reforms once and for all amid controversy that bars gender reassignment surgeries for minors in Alberta.
“Do you support age restrictions for puberty, blockers and hormone therapies for trans kids?” a reporter asked Poilievre Wednesday.
“I think that Justin Trudeau is trying to divide and distract Canadians by spreading ‘disinformation’ about the decisions that Premiers and parents are making,” said the Tory leader.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith proposed a policy proposal last Wednesday that barred all gender-affirming surgeries for minors aged 17 and under.
"I don't want any child to feel regret for their decision or feel that they made it prematurely,” Smith told CTV News. “That's why we want to make sure that we take the extra time so that those kids are making the decisions, and they can live with the consequences," she said.
“No matter how well-intentioned and sincere, [that] poses a risk to that child’s future that I, as premier, am not comfortable with permitting in our province.”
According to Alberta Health, 23 minors received ‘top surgery’ in the province last year.
On Tuesday, Poilievre Trudeau’s opposition to parental rights legislation is an attack on religious Canadians, reported True North.
“He’s accused Muslim parents of being hateful because they were standing up for their kids. He’s attacked Christian parents, suggesting that parents cannot be trusted with their kids and I disagree with him,” said the Tory leader.
“I think we have to trust parents, no one cares for their kids more than parents,” he added. “Justin Trudeau should butt out. He should let parents raise kids and let provinces run schools and hospitals.”
Last June, Poilievre made similar remarks regarding New Brunswick’s policy on gender identity. He called on Trudeau to "let parents raise [their] kids" after the Prime Minister claimed, "trans kids are being told they don't have the right to be their true selves."
On June 8, the province passed a ban on transgender or 'non-binary' students under 16 changing their names or pronouns in school without parental consent. Their legal name would be present on report cards and official documentation. The policy came into effect on July 1.
A SecondStreet.org-sanctioned poll said 57% of Canadians believe schools should inform parents if their child discusses changing their gender pronouns or transitioning. Only 18% disagreed with this statement, while 25% didn't know.
At the time, Poilievre called legislation on parental rights a "provincial policy."
"The prime minister has no business in decisions that should rest with provinces and parents," he said.
Poilievre reiterated his stance after a reporter accused him of not taking a stand on the proposed policy and endorsing restrictions on healthcare access to transgender youth.
“First and foremost, you are spreading disinformation, and you refuse to even describe the policy proposals that are even being debated. You refuse to even list any of them,” he said.
“You think if you keep it vague and you refrain from actually describing the policies that Premier Smith is putting in place, then you think that you can then misrepresent them and misrepresent conservatives.”
When asked if the Tory leader would permit his MPs to speak freely on the matter, he accused the media of peddling “disinformation” on behalf of Trudeau.
Poilievre clarified that adults should have the freedom to make any decision they want about their bodies. “I think we should protect children and [preserve] their ability to make adult decisions when they are adults only,” he said.