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Alberta

Premier Smith announces provincial policies for transgender Alberta youths

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14 minute read

New policies regarding transgender Albertans:
  • Top and bottom gender reassignment surgeries will not be permitted for children age 15 and under.
  • Puberty blockers and hormone therapies for the purpose of gender reassignment or affirmation will not be permitted, with the exception of those who’ve already commenced treatment.
  • Minors age 16 and 17 will be permitted to commence hormone therapies for gender reassignment and affirmation purposes so long as they are deemed mature enough to make these decisions and have parental, physician, and psychologist approval.
  • For transgender adults our government is currently working to attract one or more medical professionals to practice in Alberta who specialize in transgender surgery.
  • Alberta will also have a private registry of medical professionals who specialize in this field to better support the lifelong health Care needs of transgender Albertans, including access to needed hormones and surgery after care.
  • Classroom instruction on subject matter involving gender identity, sexual orientation, or human sexuality we will require parental notification, and an open requirement for each instance a teacher intends to give formal instruction on these subjects.
  • All third party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity sexual orientation or human sexuality in our K through 12 school system will need to be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure the materials are age appropriate for a minor age 15 and under.
  • The government will require parental notification and consent for a school to alter the name or pronouns of a child.
  • For 16 and 17 year old’s who choose to alter their name or pronouns, parents do not need to give consent but they must be notified.
  • In rare situations where one or both of the parents reject or become abusive to a child who identifies as transgender we have child protection laws that will be strictly enforced.
  • The government is designing a pilot project to provide counseling services to support parents and youth identifying as transgender, to work through the unique challenges these families face.
  • Women and girls will have the choice to compete in a women’s only division in athletic competitions.
  • Transgender athletes will be able to participate in the sport of their choice through the expansion of co-ed or other gender neutral divisions.

From the YouTube page of Premier Danielle Smith

Gender identity can be a hard thing to talk about, especially when you are involved. But this conversation is extremely important and parental involvement is critical. Kids need to know we love and support them.
My message to all Albertans:
Premier Smith:
My fellow Albertans. Today I wish to address a very sensitive issue involving our children in gender identity. This is not always an easy conversation to have. I strongly believe that we as a society must support and reach out with kindness and inclusion to those who identify as transgender and work to eliminate the discrimination they often experience in their lives.
As premier of this province I want every Alberton that identifies as transgender to know I care deeply about you and I accept you as you are. As long as I lead this province I will ensure you are supported and your rights are protected. In the case of children aged 17 and under who identify as transgender I also want you to know that you are loved and supported as you work through your often changing emotions feelings and beliefs.
As we all know children and teenagers are in a constant state of biological social emotional and sexual development and change they’re constantly learning about themselves, trying new things, dealing with
After much discussion the government caucus and I have therefore decided to implement the following policies and guidelines as it relates to transgender minors and athletes including additional supports to assist transgender adults to secure the health care they need and the counseling support for youth identifying as transgender to ensure they can successfully work their way through their complex feelings and emotions as they grow to adulthood.
First on the issue of gender reassignment treatments for minors for minors age 17 and under. Top and bottom gender reassignment surgeries will not be permitted for children age 15 and under. Puberty blockers and hormone therapies for the purpose of gender reassignment or affirmation will also not be permitted, with the exception of those who’ve already commenced their treatment at this time. Minors age 16 and 17 will be permitted to commence hormone therapies for gender reassignment and affirmation purposes so long as they are deemed mature enough to make these decisions and have parental, physician, and psychologist approval.
For transgender adults our government is currently working to attract one or more medical professionals to practice in Alberta who specialize in transgender surgery to ensure those individuals transitioning have access to an expert in Alberta to assist them with their extremely unique and complex medical needs, rather than going to Quebec which is now the practice. We will also be building a private registry of medical professionals who specialize in this field to better support the lifelong health Care needs of transgender Albertans, including access to needed hormones and surgery after care.
When it comes to classroom instruction on subject matter involving gender identity sexual orientation or human sexuality we will be requiring parental notification and an open requirement for each instance a teacher intends to give formal instruction on these subjects. Furthermore all third party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity sexual orientation or human sexuality in our K through 12 school system will need to be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education to ensure the materials are age appropriate for a minor age 15 and under.
The government will require parental notification and consent for a school to alter the name or pronouns of a child. For 16 and 17 year olds who choose to alter their name or pronouns, parents do not need to give consent but they must be notified. We know that nearly all parents, even those who may disagree with the decision of their children, will love and care for their children no matter what choices

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

TDF funds defence of the “Coutts Three”

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The “Coutts Three,” Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen

News release from The Democracy Fund

A jury trial is expected to proceed after pretrial applications.

LETHBRIDGE: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is funding the defence of three men charged with mischief in Lethbridge, Alberta. The men, known as the “Coutts Three,” are Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen. All three are alleged to have been leaders of the 17-day trucker protest against COVID-19 restrictions that shut down the Coutts border in February 2022.

The matter is expected to proceed to a jury trial after pretrial applications are heard over the next few days. Jury trials are only available for serious criminal matters where the accused faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment or more.

The men should not be confused with the “Coutts Four,” who were among the twelve persons arrested in connection to an RCMP raid that resulted in the seizure of weapons and the end of the protest. According to Van Huigenbos, the message of the Coutts protesters “had been lost” following the arrests and the border blockade was voluntarily dismantled.

Donations for the three men can be made on this page.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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Alberta

Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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