Conservative Party delegates on Sept. 9 voted to adopt a number of short-listed policy proposals, including banning sex-change procedures for minors and restricting female-only sports and spaces to biological women.
Delegates, who gathered at the Centre des congrès de Québec in Quebec City for a three-day national party convention beginning Sept. 7, adopted the policy banning gender-altering procedures for those under 18 with 69 percent of the votes on the final day of the event.
The policy says that a future Conservative government would “protect children by prohibiting life altering medicinal or surgical interventions on minors under 18 to treat gender confusion or dysphoria, and encourage positive mental and physical health support for all Canadians suffering from gender dysphoria and related mental health challenges.”
Another policy proposal that limits the use of women-only spaces and female sports to biological women passed with 87 percent of the votes.
The proposal, which defines a woman as a “female person,” says that “women are entitled to the safety, dignity, and privacy of single-sex spaces (e.g., prisons, shelters, locker rooms, washrooms) and the benefits of women-only categories (e.g., sports, awards, grants, scholarships).”
The policy proposals adopted by delegates serve as a representation of the wish of the grassroots to the party leadership, and the leader isn’t bound by them.
So far, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has kept the focus of the talking points of his party mainly on economic issues.
Ahead of the convention, when asked if he would adopt the policy should the delegates pass it, Mr. Poilievre said he hadn’t had time to review all the proposals, “but we’ll take a careful look at every proposal and decide whether or not it lines up with our platform.”
The development comes as a number of conservative provincial governments have said parents have the right to know if their children are changing genders at school, such as the children asking that teachers use their preferred pronouns.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have spoken against the provincial policies requiring parents be informed about these decisions.
An Angus Reid poll published on Aug. 28 showed that 78 percent of Canadians think parents should be informed.
Among the other resolutions adopted by the delegates were removing GST on products used for motherhood and care for newborns, as well as “stronger legislation” against human traffickers and pedophiles.
Delegates also voted to adopt a resolution related to the freedom of speech, which says “open dialogue is the basis of any democratic society.”
“We will safeguard Canadians’ Rights to create and access content on the internet without government sanctioned censorship, and nullify unconstitutional restrictions,” the proposed policy says.
Another policy proposal that was adopted targets “unfair hiring practices,” saying any hiring done in research positions funded federally should be based on merit.
“A Conservative government will restore merit in Canada’s innovation by directing hiring practices associated with federal research funding away from ideology and instead emphasizing first and foremost, supporting and retaining Canada’s top research talent, irrespective of personal immutable characteristics,” the proposal says.
Another adopted proposal says that while domestic research and development of vaccines should be supported, Canadians should “have the freedom and right to refuse vaccines for moral, religious, medical or other reasons.”
The Canadian Press, Noé Chartier, and Tara MacIsaac contributed to this report.