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Poilievre not saying whether he'll support ban on medical interventions for trans minors

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to delegates at the Conservative Party convention on September 8, 2023 in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press - image credit)
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre speaks to delegates at the Conservative Party convention on September 8, 2023 in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press - image credit)

Conservative Party members may have voted clearly in favour of banning medical interventions for transgender youth, but party leader Pierre Poilievre still isn't saying whether he thinks the policy should become law.

While visiting Nanaimo, B.C. on Tuesday, Poilievre made his first public comments on the proposal since this past weekend's Conservative Party policy convention.

He was asked specifically whether he supports the ban.

"We've just got a whole book of new policy proposals passed through the convention," Poilievre told reporters.

"I'll be studying them carefully and talking with our caucus members on those policies, and when we've had a chance to do our homework we'll have more to say."

On Saturday, Conservative Party delegates in Quebec City voted 69 per cent in favour of a policy that would prohibit for anyone under age 18 "life-altering medicinal or surgical interventions" to treat "gender confusion and dysphoria."

The policy proposal does not specifically use the term "transgender" and recommends offering alternative supports for "gender dysphoria and related mental health challenges."

It's not clear precisely which medical treatments would be targeted by the proposed ban. The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) says that, for example, "hormonal suppression" through the use of hormone blockers "is reversible."

In a position statement published in June, the CPS also said that "gender-affirming medical interventions may be an important component of comprehensive care" for some transgender or gender-diverse adolescents.

Poilievre made it clear before the convention that he would not be bound by policy decisions passed by delegates.

"Leaders are never bound by convention resolutions, but we do take them into consideration," he said.