Joanna Alphonso and Paul Tuns:

Mixed reactions erupted across the country as Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, in a video post on X (formerly Twitter), shared her plan on Jan. 31 to protect women and children from the LGBQT ideology.

Smith’s plan includes a ban on gender reassignment surgeries for children ages 17 and under, and a ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children ages 15 and under. Children who have already started their transition process are exempted from this ban. Children ages 16-17 will be able to start transitioning with parental consent, and physician and psychologist approval.

Regarding education, parents are required to opt-in to any classroom instruction for their children on gender ideology. Any third-party material on the topic has to be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure that it is age-appropriate. If children aged 16-17 wish to alter their name or preferred pronouns, they may do so without parental consent – but the school will notify the parents. For children aged 15 and under who wish to do the same, parental notification and consent will be required. In the rare situation where there is rejection or abuse from one or both parents, Smith said existing child protection laws will be strictly enforced.

Smith added that the Alberta government is working to have more medical professionals in the province who are specialized in transgender surgeries and aftercare so that adults who identify as transgender will no longer have to travel to another province to access those services.

Finally, Smith said that the Alberta government is working with sporting organizations to have women-only divisions in order to protect them from the dangers of biological male competitors. Women will not be forced against their will to compete against biological males in sport. The Alberta government is also working to expand the co-ed and gender-neutral divisions so that adults who identify as transgender still have the opportunity to engage in sport.

Pro-family groups praised much of the policy. Jeff Gunnarson, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, declared, “A political miracle has just happened,” because “With these new policies, a Canadian premier has essentially told the seemingly unstoppable transgender movement to stop in its tracks and leave Alberta kids alone.” Gunnarson praised Smith “for her proposed policies that will go a long way in protecting children and safeguarding the unreplaceable parent-child relationship.” He called on other provinces to follow Alberta’s lead.

Teresa Pierre, president of Parents as First Educators, noted that, “It’s not clear at this point how much these changes will be implemented through policy and how much will be through law; nor do we know the timeline as yet.” However, “What we do know is that Smith’s changes will significantly strengthen parental rights in that province,” citing parental opt-in for sensitive gender identity, sexual orientation or human sexuality lessons in the classroom and for all third-party materials on these issues to be approved by the Ministry of Education. 

That said, Pierre said that Smith’s announcement did not go far enough as PAFE would like to see governments address “the roots of the social contamination of children’s minds with a harmful ideology that can lead them to want to maim themselves and deny biological reality.”

After being repeatedly asked about his view of Alberta’s new parental rights policy or the federal Conservative Party’s policies on transgenderism, party leader Pierre Poilievre finally committed to “restore common sense” and “let parents raise kids and let provinces run schools and hospitals.”

Smith is also receiving praise from some unlikely corners. An opinion column by Allan Stratton, an openly gay contributor to the National Post, praised Smith on her plan, calling her a “voice of sanity on gender.” Stratton’s is one of many voices from the so-called LGBT community who have spoken up in support of Smith, including groups such as Gays against Groomers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several of his ministers have criticized Smith’s policies. Trudeau said Smith is “fighting” against transgender youth instead of fighting for “lower grocery prices and affordable fuel.” Trudeau criticized what he called Smith’s “anti-LGBT youth policy” and vowed to stand up for “vulnerable” Canadians.

Trudeau’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Marci Ien, said “everything is on the table, anything that we can do.” Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, an MP from Edmonton, said, “we are going to look at every option that we have, and this is our NATO moment as an LGBTQS+ community.”

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties’ Association, and the Social Workers’ Association of Alberta have each condemned Smith’s announcement, and Boissonnault indicated that the CCLA might launch a constitutional challenge against the policies.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, said in a tweet that “Albertans … are scared for their future.” He added, “there is no doubt that these policies will hurt kids and their families” and that Smith’s actions are “the lowest kind of politics.”

Perhaps Danielle Smith speaks with the best interests of children at the forefront of this groundbreaking move. A New York Times article by Pamela Paul recently shared the traumatic reality of children who believed they were transgender, who then grew up to realize that they are not. The encroachment of the transgender ideology is beginning to face a real backlash.