WATCH: Trudeau pushes transgender surgery as Higgs, Ford look to scale back
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to push for transgender surgery, as New Brunswick Premier Brian Higgs and Ontario Premier Doug Ford look to scale back.
Since 2018, more than 600 Canadian girls aged younger than 18 and as young as 14 have had their breasts surgically removed as part of the “female-to-male top surgery” process. The data does not include private clinics or Quebec hospitals.
Most provinces cover the costs as healthcare.
Speaking at a press conference on housing in New Brunswick Wednesday, Trudeau was asked if he was concerned about Higgs cutting access to gender-affirming care in the province.
The prime minister responded by touting the Liberals’ initiative to “defend peoples’ right to be who they are” and slammed “certain political parties” for causing division for political gain.
“I think Canada is the best country in the world, in part because Canadians respect each other. In Canada people are free to be who they are, to love whom they love,” Trudeau said. “It’s something that our party and quite frankly millions of Canadians, will always stand to defend.”
“Unfortunately, we are seeing it in certain parts of the country and certain political parties try to instrumentalize divisions or intolerance into political advantage.”
“We will always stand with everyone.”
Higgs raised concerns during an interview with Radio-Canada in December about how 60% of children are prescribed hormones or puberty blockers the first time they see a doctor about their struggle with gender.
In 2022, Ford's Conservative government denied a motion by the provincial NDP party to pass their proposed Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act, a bill that would mandate a committee to make recommendations to the minister of health on “ways to improve access to gender-affirming care and transition-related procedures in Ontario.”
At the federal Conservative convention in September, delegates voted 69% in favour of prohibiting “life altering medicinal or surgical interventions” for minors who suffer from gender dysphoria.