On February 1st, 2024, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced new anti-trans policies. These policies include but are not limited to: school district workers having to inform parents if their child decides to change their name or pronouns. This part of the policy does not consider the students consent in order for it to take effect. 


Not only that, but the premier also included the inability to get gender affirming care whether it be hormones or surgeries until said person turns 18. Smith stated that not only are the surgeries irreversible but the hormone therapy is irreversible as well. Though the statements when it comes to the surgeries is true, the statement that was made about hormone replacement therapy being irreversible is not. Though some changes that an individual’s body goes through may not be reversible after sustained use of hormone replacement therapy (ex: increased body hair, deeper voice, facial hair for masculinizing therapy and breast development for feminizing therapy), there are still many changes that are reversible such as: fertility, body fat redistribution and libido potency. To imply that hormone replacement therapy is irreversible is misinformed and dangerous.


In a letter to the Albertan Premier, the Canadian Paediatric Society echoed the above concerns stating:


“We are deeply concerned that implementation of these policies will not only undermine the fundamental rights of transgender children and youth in Alberta, but will lead to significant negative health outcomes, including increased risk of suicide and self-harm.”


In response to the criticism aimed at her, Alberta’s Premier had this to say in a news conference:


“We want to make sure that children do not prematurely make decisions that are going to be irreversible and affect their ability to have sex, and affect their ability to have children, until they’re of an age where they’re fully responsible for those decisions. That’s age 18.”


Though this comment made by Premier Smith seems to be one of care and concern, it is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt at seeming empathetic to trans youth and their futures. 


This policy is also forcibly outing trans youth to their parents without their permission, and without concern for what their home or social life is like.


When asked if medical experts were consulted when forming the policy, Premier Danielle Smith had this to say in an Interview with CBC:


“We’ve been watching the trends around the world, we’ve been watching what’s happening in the rest of the country, we’ve been listening to parents.”


In response to Premier Smith’s answer as to whether or not she consulted any experts, The Brunswickan interviewed Jay Alexander, a transgender woman who shared her reaction to the answer saying:


“I’ve known I was trans since I was a kid, but didn’t come out until my late 20’s because I lacked a safe and comfortable environment to do so. It just breaks my heart to know that there are going to be more and more trans kids out there that are going to be stuck in the same situation I was in because adults that don’t even know them are making decisions as to how they can and can’t live their lives based on nothing but ‘trends’ instead of medical expertise.” 


In Fredericton, on February 4th, 2024, a protest was held in support of Alberta’s queer youth. The protest was held at the legislative grounds in Downtown Fredericton with dozens of people showing up sporting signs that read “ protect trans youth” and “Hey Premiers! Leave Trans Kids Alone!” 


The solidarity shown by Fredericton’s citizens at the protest was to act as a message to trans youth, letting them know that they are loved and supported no matter how loud and intimidating the hateful rhetoric gets. It was also meant to send a message to not only Premier Danielle Smith but all premiers, including our own Blaine Higgs. That hate will not be tolerated and love will come out on top.

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