Edmonton’s proposed ban on ‘conversion therapy’ violates privacy and choice of adults
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca).
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau declared in 1969 that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation,” and that the government should ignore “what’s done in private between adults.” On that basis, his Liberal government proceeded to remove sodomy from the Criminal Code.
Tobacco continues to be Canada’s leading preventable cause of premature death and disease. According to Newswire, the LGBTQ+ communities 18-24 year olds are more likely to use tobacco than heterosexuals who are of the same age.
It is currently National Non-Smoking week. An investment of $2,840,767 was announced by Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health. The investment is in support of the All Together Now! project by the University of Toronto.
“This week marks National Non-Smoking Week in Canada, and I want to encourage the thousands of Canadians who will take their first steps toward quitting smoking.” said The honourable Patty Hajdu.
“The projects we are supporting today like Toronto’s All Together Now! will better help them as they make this positive change in their lives – and encourage others to follow in the same footsteps.”
The University has teamed up with the Canadian Cancer Society as well as Egale Canada and they are all working with LGBTQ+ community members. The goal of the project is to help LGBTQ+ members become healthier people by quitting smoking.
The project will support people around Thunder Bay and Toronto in Ontario and Montréal, Quebec. It is directed at approximately 114,000 people.
All Together Now! works through events, social media messaging, social media influencers and other online methods. They will also provide resources such as therapy.
The University of Toronto will receive about $1.3 million from the Government of Canada with Health Canada’s Substance abuse program. The money will be split up over 36 months for the Tobacco Research Unit.
“Smoking in LGBTQ+ communities is associated with stigma and related stress experienced by many individuals. Working from within LGBTQ+ communities, All Together Now! will build strong interventions to change the social climate for smoking and provide tailored quit-smoking support.” said Professor Robert Schwartz from Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
“We are grateful to the Government of Canada for making this vital work possible.”
It is the aim of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy to drop the use of tobacco to below 5 percent by the year 2035. About $330 million was federally invested throughout 5 years to move toward the goal.
A liquor store in Edmonton is testing out a new security program to combat a string of thefts over the past 18 months. Under the proposed new security system, customers will have to scan their ID before they can enter the premises according to a recent article in CBC.
Alcanna, Canada’s biggest private retailer of alcohol is launching a pilot project in partnership with Edmonton police. The project will be tested at Ace Liquor, located at 11708 34th St. in northeast Edmonton. Alcanna stated the intent of the project is to deal with “the epidemic of liquor store robberies that has plagued the city,” a problem that has escalated rapidly in the past year and a half.
“In 2019, EPS officers responded to almost 9,600 calls of theft of liquor — about 26 calls per day across the city,” Const. Robin Wilson said in the release. An increase of 200 percent since 2018.
“It’s not just people taking advantage of something that is easy, it’s somebody preying on people as well,” he said.
Dale McFee, Chief of Edmonton police told CBC News that investigators often find that some of the thefts are gang-related and that it presents a huge problem for the city.
“Ultimately, the way we are right now and the amount of officer time and different things that are going on in this space, it’s not working. So it’s time to try a few things.”
The new scan system requires patrons to scan their identification before the door will unlock and allow entry into the store. This practice has already been used by bars and nightclubs in Edmonton for years.
The Alcanna pilot project has been positively received by many including Const. Wilson who commended the company for “taking proactive steps to increase the safety of both their employees and the general public,”
Joe Cook is the vice-president of Alcanna which in addition to Ace Liquor, also owns the Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis brands. “Just as was done with pre-pay and pay at the pump for gas stations, we are hoping Patronscan creates a safer shopping experience,” said Cook in a news release. “This is not shoplifting,” he said. “It is robbery with real or threatened violence.”
Edmontonians won’t have to worry about their privacy rights as the customer ID information will not be kept in the devices but stored in Patronscan’s data centre with restricted access, according to a press release from Alcanna.
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu has attempted to clarify her stance on social issues to CTV’s Question Period.
During an interview in the program, Gladu stated that “she would stand up for the rights of all Canadians. The LGBT community has made clear that they want leaders and the prime minister to march and indicate that they support their rights, and I’m going to support the rights of every Canadian.”
Gladu then went on to express her support, once more, for same sex marriage and gay pride parades—saying that she would be marching in one on June 27. “It’s important that every part of the community feels loved and accepted, and I think as Canadians that we should stop dividing ourselves and pitting one group against another, we have to stand up for everyone’s rights and freedoms.”
When Gladu was asked about the abortion debate, she said that she was pro-life, “although, at this stage in my life the chances of me getting pregnant is basically zero.” Despite this, Gladu made it clear that abortion services should be available to all Canadians.
Gladu’s position on abortion and LGBT rights will starkly differentiate herself from Andrew Scheer, who often faced scrutiny for his less-than-clear position on these issues. Scheer, for instance, refused to participate in gay pride marches. Like Gladu, Scheer was also a pro-lifer, which due to poor management, sky-rocketed into a hot campaign topic.
Gladu announced her bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party on Jan. 9. She is, so far, the only female candidate in the leadership contest.
The B.C. Court of Appeal has delivered a verdict today regarding the right of a child to receive treatment for gender dysphoria without parental consent.
The case first came to public attention in January 2019 when the father was told that his child, who was 14-years-old at the time, could begin hormone treatment without parental approval under BC’s Infant Act. The father sought a court injunction to prevent the doctors from commencing therapy. Since then, the names of all individuals involved in the case have been put under publication ban, including the names of the doctors who were involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the youth.
Previous court decisions granted the child the ability to proceed with hormone treatment to conform to the male gender with which the child identifies. Additionally, the father was subject to a protection order that prevented him from referring to his child as female or discussing the case publicly.
The father violated that court order by continuing to give media interviews, providing identifying documents, and continuing to call the child his daughter. The court was asked to refuse the father further audience because of this breach but declined to do so “without in any way countenancing [the father’s] alleged conduct in this litigation.”
There were numerous intervenors in the appeal, most of whom supported the child’s position. Because the child had already begun hormone therapy, the Court of Appeal was asked to consider the issue moot. While the judges agreed that it was not appropriate to reverse the earlier decision on medical treatment, since irreversible physical changes had already taken effect, they would rule on the issues to provide guidance for future cases.
BC’s Chief Justice Bauman, and Justice Fisher wrote the unanimous decision, with Justice Groberman concurring.
The previous order, restraining the father from continuing to deny the chosen gender of his child and declaring his actions to be a form of “family violence,” was dismissed. The trial judge was deemed to have made “bald assertions” in granting the order which went beyond consideration of “the best interests of the child.”
In granting the father success, overturning the protection order, the court said “[w]e do not see authority to declare certain conduct as ‘deemed’ to be family violence for either present or future applications.”
In regards to granting the youth the right to continue treatment, the verdict confirms that BC’s Infant Act allows a child to make informed medical decisions without parental consent. That said, the Court of Appeal found that the trial judge went beyond the scope of the issue of whether or not the medical consent was valid.
The judge had made declarations about specific medical issues that were best left to the appropriate physicians and caregivers.
In this case, the Court of Appeal found that the child had been vigorously assessed to confirm the appropriate treatment and to verify that the child was capable of understanding the consent form and consequences of pursuing that treatment. As such, they confirmed the order granting the child the ability to continue receiving the chosen medical care.
On the question of whether or not the father had engaged in “family violence,” the court rejected the granting of a protection order, calling it “unfortunate.”
They further stated, “it is our view that raising the issue of family violence in the context of this case caused the parties to become increasingly polarized in their positions, thus exacerbating the conflict and raising the stakes in the litigation. We see none of this to be in [the child’s] best interests.”
Most significantly, the court determined that, without minimizing the pain the child felt at being misgendered, the father was “entitled to his views and he is entitled to communicate those views.” While the judges found the father’s conduct to be “disrespectful” and “hurtful” they did not find it to be a form of violence.
Because the case involved the relationship between a parent and child, the court felt that a conduct order, rather than a protection order, was necessary. If the father fails to comply it could affect the outcome of future family court applications.
Nevertheless, it was determined that the father “has the right to his opinion and belief about [his child’s] gender identity and choice of medical treatment.” The conduct order restricts the ability to discuss his child’s dysphoria with media outlets or in other public venues but allows him the ability to maintain his personal beliefs about the child’s medical condition.
The facts of this case revolve around the father’s parental role, which is why the conduct order under the Family Law Act was deemed necessary. The father was criticized and urged to engage with the medical professionals overseeing the child’s care, something he had failed to do in the past.
The ruling will give guidance for other cases involving disputes between parents and children regarding gender dysphoria. Primarily, the verdict says that medical professionals have an obligation to thoroughly assess what treatment is in a child’s best interests and an equal responsibility to ensure the child fully understands the consequences of treatment before proceeding without parental consent.
In this case, all judges involved in the numerous legal disputes came to the conclusion that the physicians had acted competently.