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Unifor condemns Premier Smith’s anti-transgender crusade

Posted in Unifor 5555


Unifor condemns Premier Smith’s anti-transgender crusade


February 1, 2024


EDMONTON—Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new plans to block access to gender-affirming medical care for younger teens is a violation of fundamental human rights and will cause avoidable harm to transgender youth, says Unifor.


“Premier Smith has prioritized wedge politics over tackling the pressing economic issues facing Alberta’s workers and their families,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “She’s put a bullseye on our most vulnerable youth to score cheap points with ultra conservatives. It’s disgusting.”


In a video posted to social media, Smith vowed to prohibit various gender affirming surgeries and drug therapies for teens 15 years and younger. Smith will strip authority from schools to approve third-party educational materials about gender identity and sexuality. Instead, teachers will need prior approval from the Ministry of Education.


Many trans youth report discrimination, bullying, and violence because of their gender identity, and those who experience these are more likely to report mental health difficulties. Studies show that gender-affirming care leads to better mental health outcomes for trans and non-binary youth. The number of hate crimes reported by police in a recent report from Statistics Canada showed a shocking 64 per cent increase in hate crimes targeting individuals over their sexual orientation from 2020 to 2021.


Smith also announced that transgender women will be banned from participating in women’s sports competitions.


“In attacking trans youth, Premier Smith joins a hateful chorus of conservative premiers in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick who lack the insight and tools to improve life for working families,” added McGarrigle.


In August 2023, Unifor delegates to the Canadian Council voted unanimously to support the national president’s recommendation to support 2SLGBTQIA+ workers.


Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.


For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).

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