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Trans youth policies make majority of Canadians 'uncomfortable': survey


A new survey from Nanos Research and CTV News shows a majority of Canadian adults express at least some discomfort around policies on transgender inclusion in sports, hormone treatments for youth and changes to students' pronouns in schools.

Conducted between Feb. 28 and March 2 this year, the survey asked a random sample of Canadians 18 and older about their comfort level toward a variety of topics around gender identity and inclusion. The results reveal a snapshot of public sentiment broadly against some policies that have increasingly become central social issues of debate in Canadian politics.

Approximately 57 per cent of surveyed adults said they were uncomfortable or somewhat uncomfortable with "a transgender person taking part in organized sports for people of their current gender identity." While not a majority, a further 44 per cent said the same when asked about "a transgender person using the washroom or change rooms for people of their current gender identity."


In a press conference in late February, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said "female spaces should be exclusively for females, not for biological males," a comment that drew criticism from transgender former Conservative candidate Hannah Hodson, who said it was "very unfortunate to see."

"What he has said today just further extends the idea that trans people are predators," she said in an interview with CTV News Channel's Power Play host Vassy Kapelos.

Hormone treatments

Respondents to last week's survey were also asked about gender-identity policies concerning children.

Sixty-two per cent of those surveyed were somewhat not comfortable or not comfortable with allowing Canadians under the age of 18 to undergo hormone therapies, such as those to delay the effects of puberty, for the purpose of "changing a person's gender."

The treatments have also come under scrutiny from federal Conservatives, who voted at a policy convention last September that a future government under their party's control should prohibit gender-affirming medicinal or surgical treatments for children.

Also regarding kids, 64 per cent of respondents expressed at least some discomfort with the scenario of a student under 18 changing their name or pronouns at school without their parents' knowledge.


Last year, the government of Saskatchewan introduced the Parents' Bill of Rights, a provincial policy that would require parental consent for any changes to names or pronouns of students under the age of 16 in schools.

Shortly after the bill's August introduction, it became the subject of an ongoing legal challenge from UR Pride, a Regina-based 2SLGBTQ+ group.

The provincial government used the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to pass the law, and following months of legal battling over the decision, a potential escalation to the Supreme Court of Canada may be on the horizon.

"The legislation passed by the Saskatchewan government continues to cause irreparable harm to gender diverse young people," read a February statement from national 2SLGBTQ+ group Egale Canada, which is involved in the challenge.

"We are grateful that we will have the opportunity to continue our fight against it."


The data discussed in this article was provided by an RDD dual frame survey commissioned by CTV News and conducted by Nanos Research. The survey was conducted via phone and internet between Feb. 28 and March 2, 2024, and includes a random sample of 1,071 Canadians aged 18 or older. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Proportions are weighted to those of the population, and due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100 per cent.

With files from CTV News Regina




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