(Calgary) A law professor specializing in children’s rights calls policy changes affecting transgender Albertans worrying.
These changes include requiring parental consent for students aged 15 and under who wish to change their name at school.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said students aged 16 and 17 would not need consent, but their parents would need to be informed of the changes they are seeking. Mme Smith clarified in a video posted on social media that his decisions were made after discussions with his Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) caucus.
Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich, professor of law at Carleton University in Ottawa, says her main concern is young people who already suffer from mental health problems, depression, acts of violence and intimidation against them.
In his opinion, this is a political scam. “It’s a new way of being homophobic,” said Mme Jaremko Bromwich in an interview Wednesday after the changes were announced. “This is politics that comes at the expense of vulnerable young people. »
Other policy changes include restrictions on hormone therapy and surgery for transgender adolescents, as well as sports participation for transgender women.
Premier Smith is scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday.
LGBTQ advocacy groups Egale Canada and the Skipping Stone Foundation said in a joint statement Wednesday that they will take legal action if Alberta moves forward with the changes.
Jaremko Bromwich argues that the Alberta discourse on parental rights is similar to that held in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Both provinces passed similar rules last year requiring parental consent for students to change their name or pronouns, but with the age set at 16 and younger.
The governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, which face legal challenges over their policies, said the changes were driven by many parents wanting them.
Danielle Smith insisted she wanted transgender people to know they were supported, but she said young people should not be allowed to make life-changing changes until they will not be sufficiently mature. “One of our greatest responsibilities as parents, teachers and community leaders is to preserve our children’s right to grow up and become mature adults, so that they are better prepared to make the most important decisions that affect their lives,” she said in the video.