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Poilievre against transgender women in female bathrooms, changing rooms, sports

By The Canadian Press and News Staff

Some advocates are angry with Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre after he gave his clearest position yet on the federal and provincial debate around transgender rights.

Poilievre said Wednesday he believes “biological males” have no place in sports or change rooms that are labelled female. He was asked at a news conference about his position on whether transgender women should be allowed in spaces that are labelled for women and whether he would introduce any legislation to stop it.

Poilievre told reporters he believes “female spaces should be exclusively for females, not for biological males.” 

That is in line with a policy resolution Conservative party members voted for at their convention last fall, which says women should have access to “single-sex spaces” in areas like prisons, bathrooms and sports.

Fae Johnstone is the executive director with the Society of Queer Momentum and tells CityNews she thinks Poilievre’s position is dangerous, calling his comments poisonous for the mental health of trans women.

“This is appalling,” says Johnstone. “This is an anti-feminist, anti-women policy commitment, and it is one that threatens the rights of transgender people.”

“This will force trans people out of public life. I can’t use women’s washrooms and I’m not safe using men’s washrooms.” 

Poilievre said many of the spaces in question are controlled by provinces and municipalities so it is unclear what role the federal government could play.

“But obviously, female sports, female change rooms, female bathrooms, should be for females — not for biological males.”

This marks the second time in recent weeks when Poilievre has stated his position on issues relating to gender identity and sexual orientation.

He was asked repeatedly during a recent news conference on Parliament Hill about his stance on access to hormone therapies and puberty blockers for minors, following Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s proposal to restrict them. 

He said he believes children should be able to make such choices about their bodies “when they’re adults.” 

When asked directly whether he opposes the use of puberty blockers for gender-diverse youth under the age of 18, he said, “Yes.”

Premiers of conservative governments in Saskatchewan, Alberta and New Brunswick all introduced new policies that require schools to notify parents when transgender or non-binary students want to go by preferred names and pronouns.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused the premiers and Poilievre for attacking transgender rights. 

When it comes to the proposed restrictions on gender-affirming medical treatments, Trudeau said Poilievre wants government to take away parents’ ability to do what’s best for their kids in consultation with doctors. 

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