A new policy announced by the leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) in Manitoba on Tuesday is sparking fears among LGBTQ2S communities across the nation.
“With the active support of the woke far left and all establishment parties, radical trans activists are trying to transform society in a way that curtails everyone’s freedoms,” Bernier said during the press conference. “This radical agenda, which contradicts basic biological realities, is proving particularly harmful to women and children.”
The policy lays out a seven-point plan, which includes:
Modifying the Criminal Code to outlaw the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and any form of bodily mutilation on minors with the goal of “transitioning” to another sex
Protecting women’s spaces – bathrooms, changing rooms, shelters, and prisons – from “intrusion by biological men”
Abolishing federal programs that fund sex change operations for civil servants and prisoners
Removing the ban imposed by Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy), on helping minors who suffer from gender dysphoria accept their body
Strictly enforcing section 163.1(1)(b) of the Criminal Code in order to remove inappropriate pornographic content from schools and libraries, which Action4Canada defines as sexually explicit and pornographic books that are being made available to children via schools and public libraries
Maintaining separate competitions for women in which “biological men” cannot participate in sports regulated and funded by the federal government
Repealing Bill C-16, which makes gender self-identification grounds for protection against discrimination
Today I announced the new People’s Party’s policy on radical gender ideology at a press conference in Winkler.
This evil agenda, which contradicts basic biological realities, is particularly harmful to women and children.https://t.co/d3ugHBoLoY
— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) May 23, 2023
Should Canadians be concerned?
Though the PPC only won 820,000 votes, making up five per cent of the popular vote during the 2021 federal election, experts say that the rise in popularity of the party, which holds far-right values, cannot be ignored.
Historically, Bernier has denied ties and affiliations to far-right groups and white nationalists, despite his public stance on reducing immigration and scrapping the Multiculturalism Act.
A more concerning incident involving the PPC is a report by Press Progress, which exposed PPC candidate Mario Greco for allegedly creating a video game in which users were able shoot caricatures of minorities and LGBTQ2S people.
The idea used to be that Canada was immune to sort of far-right populismTamara Small, University of Guelph professor of political science
"I think lots of people are wondering, if he's [Bernier] just going to say ‘I'm not here to form government…I'm more here to challenge the system’” as a way of gaining support," Small said in a previous interview with media.
Where concerns are growing is the rise of anti-LGBTQ2S ideologies and hate speech instances occurring in Canada, which seem to reflect conversations and bills being passed in the United States.
During 2023, movements fuelled by national anti-LGBTQ2S group legislators across the United States have overridden the recommendations of the American medical establishments. They introduced hundreds of bills that target transgender and non-binary youth’s access to age-appropriate, medically-necessary care, according to the Non-Government Organization (NGO) Human Rights Campaign.
"If you think that we're safe in Canada: this is the final straw. We're not," wrote Celeste Trianon in a statement posted to Instagram.
"We are only one election away from having our healthcare, civil liberties, and ability to live in public stolen away. We're one election away from becoming Florida. If the Conservatives adopt said platform, all our human rights will be gone. In a snap."
Other social media users chimed in expressing their concerns on how this policy has the potential to harm LGBTQ2S communities in Canada and others slammed Bernier for his views.
I’m so disappointed in policy that doesn’t respect Science.. there are more than 2 Biological genders..
— Jessica Luciuk (@lucijess) May 24, 2023
Seems like Bernier is less and less about freedom every day. He used to claim to champion the small minority. Now he's happy to stomp on them in a cynical pivot to revive his career. To call his agenda evil would be to give desperation too much credit.
— greenglassworm (@greenglassworm) May 24, 2023
While some expressed that the current "woke" climate of Canada is "taking things too far", many couldn’t defend the policy spewing hateful thoughts.
Appalling to see Maxime Bernier leaning further and further into disgusting anti-trans rhetoric. pic.twitter.com/CdjQ5vH6ZH
— Fae Johnstone, MSW (@FaeJohnstone) May 24, 2023
Some organizations are asking Canadians to support the LGBTQ2S community.
PPC leader Maxime Bernier has announced a policy proposal to cut access to life-saving supports for trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse people.
Canada is not immune to transphobia.
Read more about the issue and how you can support 2SLGBTQ+ futures: https://t.co/Ug5ZWKj3Bg pic.twitter.com/Req2okDjtQ
— The 519 (@The519) May 26, 2023
"I'm greatly scared — this is why I feel like I gotta hide, we're safe nowhere.." shared one Instagram user in the comment section of Celeste Trianon's post above.
Another user commented "I have close friends in Florida, and they are making an exit plan to leave there, and they told me that they're thinking of moving to Canada and I was wondering if it was just as bad there as it is here."
Bernier announced the PPC anti-trans policy yesterday. More fearmongering and a copy and paste from Florida. This is dangerous extremism. Hate like this needs to be stopped in its tracks and has no place in Canada. @antihateca pic.twitter.com/E8VIu2JTY3
— Wilbur Turner 🇨🇦🌈 (@62Takes) May 24, 2023
The policy announced by the PPC is one held within the party, and does not reflect any bill of law within Canadian Parliament currently.
In a tweet posted in March 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged his ongoing support to those within all facets of the LGBTQ2S community.
"With a disturbing rise in anti-transgender hate here in Canada and around the world recently, I want to be very clear about one more thing: Trans women are women. We will always stand up to this hate – whenever and wherever it occurs," the prime minister tweeted.