Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s office sent a memo to his MPs reminding them of “mandatory” attendance at a caucus meeting as “gender ideology” protesters gathered outside Parliament Wednesday morning.
PKBNEWS obtained a copy of the memo, which included Poilievre’s previous comments on “parental rights” issues and the New Brunswick government’s decision to require parents to be informed if their child wishes to use a name or a preferred pronoun at school.
News of the memo was first reported by The Canadian Press on Wednesday.
The memo opens with a request to Conservative MPs to “please do not speak to the media or post on social media about this”.
“Protesters have legitimate points to make, and they have the freedom of a*sembly and expression to make them,” the memo said.
A second source confirmed the authenticity of the note Wednesday afternoon.
“On Wednesday morning, party caucuses meet, requiring the presence of all MPs. If necessary, feel free to use the previous two statements (from Poilievre) to communicate with your constituents on the issue of parental rights.
Protests and counter-protests took place in several cities across Canada on Wednesday against what protest organizers called “gender ideology” in Canadian schools.
Protest organizers had a varied list of grievances, but rallied in opposition to educating students about s****l orientation and gender identity, demands to call people by their preferred pronouns and to “mixed toilets in schools”.
These messages echo measures taken by certain Canadian provinces and several American states targeting the rights of transgender people.
Counter-protesters and a number of progressive politicians took a stand Wednesday against what they see as anti-transgender and anti-LGBTQ2 movements.
“Let me be very clear: transphobia, homophobia and biphobia have no place in this country. We strongly condemn this hatred and its manifestations, and we are united in support of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians across the country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, while attending a UN meeting in New York.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also participated in a counter-protest march and tweeted that “the rise in hatred towards the 2SLGBTQI+ community is deeply alarming. Everyone deserves the security and freedom to be who they are. Today and every day, New Democrats stand in solidarity with the trans community.
Poilievre and Conservative MPs have been much more discreet in their public comments on the protests. But the social-conservative movement – which exercises a certain influence within the party and includes several sitting deputies – has recently rallied around questions of “parental rights”.
In fashion now
At the party’s policy convention in Quebec City earlier this month, delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of a Conservative policy to restrict gender-affirming care to minors. The policy – which was approved by 69 per cent of gra*sroots delegates – aimed to commit a Conservative government to banning “life-altering medical or surgical procedures” for Canadians under the age of 18 suffering from “gender dysphoria and a*sociated mental health problems.
Delegates also voted to affirm their support for “single-s*x spaces” and affirm the right of Canadians to refuse medical treatments like vaccines.
Speaking before Congress on policy resolutions, Poilievre said his team would review approved policies, but he would not be bound by votes.
A Conservative source, who agreed to discuss Wednesday’s memo on the condition of not being named, said Poilievre’s office regularly releases talking points to Conservative MPs on important issues.
“All parties are doing this, I would be shocked if (the prime minister’s office) didn’t publish similar ones,” the source said.
The memo included Poilievre’s previous comments on “parental rights,” saying he “understood that these were parents frustrated with the government imposing contrary values on their children.”
“My view is that parents should be the final authority on what values and lessons to teach children,” Poilievre was quoted as saying.
“I believe in parental rights, and parental rights come before government rights.”
— with files from David Baxter.
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