Ontario NDP’s gender-affirming health bill labeled a “flawed proposal”

Ontario NDP’s gender-affirming health bill labeled a “flawed proposal”

Ontario’s NDP is facing backlash over a bill it has tabled that aims to expand “gender-affirming healthcare” in the province.

Bill 42, if passed, would force the Ontario Secretary of Health to create a Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee to improve access and coverage of procedures and treatments that match a patient’s gender identity.

Canada’s Gender Report, a non-profit organization that raises concerns about child sex change, called the bill a “flawed proposal that should be rejected.”

The proposed committee would make recommendations on how to expand province coverage by reducing wait times for gender-affirming care, reducing referral requirements for access to transgender care, and redefining gender-affirming care as a “life-saving procedure.”

The bill also states that the committee must be composed of transgender people, people of two spirits, non-binary people, intersex people and “gendered communities.”

The Canadian Gender Report, in an open letter, criticizes the bill for the voices it wants to both include and exclude.

“For example, there is a large cohort of people who experienced gender-related distress as children but found it resolved without the need for transition,” the letter reads. “In addition, there is a rapidly growing group of dropouts who have found that gender-affirming grooming is detrimental to their physical and mental health.”

They also point to countries like the UK and Sweden that have rejected the practice of gender-affirming childcare.

“Three national healthcare systems – Finland, Sweden and the UK – have conducted systematic reviews of the evidence for treating gender dysphoria in minors. They have all rejected the affirmation model of nursing in favor of an approach that prioritizes mental health,” the letter continued.

Under Bill 42, the committee would be tasked with expanding insurance coverage for transgender cosmetic treatments never before covered by the Health Insurance Act, such as facial feminization and breast contouring.

The politician behind the bill, NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam, wrote an op-ed arguing that transgender Ontarians face significant discrimination and that passage of Bill 42 is the first step in fixing a healthcare system in crisis.

“The timely passage of my private member’s bill will be the first step in turning around a healthcare system that has failed select Ontarians. If the prime minister and health minister are serious about fixing the health system, then they can show their support by allowing my bill to pass through in a hurry, with unanimous approval and support from all parties.”

Wong-Tam also claimed that the backlash against gender-affirming nursing in the United States was motivated by “right-wing zealots,” and likened opposition to gender-affirming nursing to white supremacy.

While Bill 42 was introduced by a member of the official opposition, it is unclear whether the Ford administration will oppose the bill, as the Progressive Conservatives allowed the legislation to go to a second reading in the last legislature.

Ontario PCs are largely silent on their position on the bill, as no MPPs opposed the bill’s introduction in the current and previous legislatures.

Bill 42 comes at a time when there are growing concerns about how gender ideology is becoming mainstream in institutions.

School boards across Ontario have conducted student censuses asking children about their gender identity and sexual orientation, and they even asked students if they were aware of breast ties, genital reduction surgery and other physical practices.

The Ottawa School Board is in the process of hiring a Trans and Gender Diverse Student Support Coordinator, a full-time position dedicated solely to working with transgender students.

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