Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said changing genders is a decision that should be reserved for adults. “Making permanent and irreversible decisions regarding one’s biological sex while still a youth can severely limit that child’s choices in the future,” said Smith in a Wednesday video. “Prematurely encouraging or enabling children to alter their very biology or natural growth no matter how well-intentioned or sincere poses as a risk to that child’s future that I, as premier, am not comfortable with permitting in our province.”.Similarly, Smith said the risks and unfair advantages biological women and girls are experiencing when competing against transgender women are too much. After much discussion, she acknowledged she and the Alberta United Conservative Party will be implementing various policies related to transgender minors and athletes. For minors 17 years old and under, she said top and bottom gender reassignment surgeries will be banned. For minors 15 years old and under, she said puberty blockers and hormone therapies for gender reassignment will be prohibited, except for those who have begun treatment. Sixteeen- and 17-year-old minors will be permitted to commence hormone therapies for gender reassignment if they are mature enough and have parental, physician and psychological approval. For transgender adults, the Alberta government is working to attract medical professionals who specialize in transgender surgery to the province rather than have them go to Quebec. When it comes to classroom discussions on subjects such as sexual orientation, gender identity and human sexuality, she said it will be requiring parental notifications and an opt-in requirement for each instance a teacher intends to offer formal instruction on them. She added all third-party resource materials related to these topics through kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will require approval from Alberta Education. For minors 15 and under, it will require parental notification and consent for a school to alter names and pronouns of children. For 16- and 17-year-old minors who choose to make these changes, parents do not need to give consent, but they must be notified. The premier went on to say all parents, even those who might disagree with their children’s decisions, “will love and care for their children no matter what choices they make.” If parents reject or become abusive to transgender children, Alberta has child protection laws that can be enforced. The Alberta government is designing a pilot project to provide appropriate counselling services to support parents and transgender youth to work through the challenges these families face. She encouraged all teachers, parents, and students “to watch for any instances of bullying of youth or children for any reason so adults can assist with putting a stop to it the moment it is detected.” Smith continued by saying transgender females should be able to participate in sports. However, there are obvious biological realities giving them massive advantages over women and girls. If this situation continues, she said it will be harmful. That is why the Alberta government will work with sports organizations to ensure biological females have the right to compete in women’s-only divisions in athletic competitions. It will work with the same sports organizations to ensure transgender athletes can participate in the sports they want. This will be done by expanding co-ed and gender-neutral divisions for competitions. Smith concluded by saying she understands how controversial discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity can be, especially when they involve children. “I would therefore ask that as we work through implementing these policies that we, as adults in this province, do all we can to depoliticize the discussion and focus on the well-being of the children involved — whether they are young people identifying as transgender or who find themselves attracted to the same sex or simply trying to understand the complex and often changing emotions of being teenagers,” she said. Alberta UCP members voted at its annual general meeting in November to support a policy resolution to require teachers, schools and school boards obtain written consent for minors wanting to identify as a different gender. READ MORE: Alberta UCP members pass resolution demanding parental consent for gender changesHowever, the resolution was not binding on the Alberta government.“Our board brought this resolution forward because the 13-year-old grandchild of one of our board members and seven of her school friends all decided they identified as the opposite sex they were born,” said an Edmonton-West Henday UCP member.