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'Butt out': Poilievre criticizes Trudeau, feds on Alberta's planned transgender rules

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre rises during Question Period on Feb. 6, 2024 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MONTREAL — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, responding to Alberta’s proposed rules for transgender youth, says the federal government needs to “butt out” of provincial health care and education.

Poilievre, speaking to reporters in Montreal, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is delivering vague, blanket condemnations of Alberta’s policies in order to avoid debating the specifics and losing the debate.

Poilievre says parents have to be trusted to know and act on what's in the best interests of their children.

He says Trudeau is spreading disinformation in order to “demonize” parents and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

Trudeau and other federal cabinet ministers have criticized the proposed rules, with Trudeau labelling them the "most anti-LGBT of anywhere in the country.”

Smith is proposing to put limits on transgender surgery and hormone therapy, restrict pronoun use and sex education in schools and prevent transgender girls from competing in all-female leagues.

Critics say Smith is infringing on medical rights and personal freedoms. She says the rules are about safety and preventing young people from making life-altering decisions they may later regret.

Poilievre told reporters Tuesday that Trudeau has suggested parents cannot be trusted with the best interests of their children.

“Trudeau has spread hatred against parents,” said Poilievre.

“He's accused Muslim parents of being hateful because they were standing up for their kids. He's attacked Christian parents. He has suggested that parents cannot be trusted with their kids. And I disagree with him. 

“No one cares for their kids more than parents. And that's why Justin Trudeau should butt out. 

“He should let parents raise kids and let provinces run schools and hospitals.” 

Smith has said the changes would come in during the fall sitting of the Alberta legislature.

She has said gender reassignment surgery would be banned for those 17 and under. And there would be no puberty blockers or hormone therapies for the purpose of gender reassignment or affirmation for anyone 15 and under, unless they’ve already begun such treatments.

Parental consent would be required for students 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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