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a statement from Blaine Higgs on access to puberty blockers

Annie Pullen Sansfacon has worked at the School of Social Work at the University of Montreal since 2009, she has just been appointed associate vice-rector for relations with First Peoples.

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The premier of New Brunswick is concerned about what he considers too easy access to puberty blockers for young people trans children. However, Blaine Higgs is not relying on the right data, according to an expert.

Gender dysphoria does exist, no one doubts it. On the other hand, in Canada, approximately 60% of children receive puberty blockers after only a consultation with a doctor, indicated Prime Minister Blaine Higgs, during an interview with Radio-Canada to take stock of the year.

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Blaine Higgs defended his results for the year 2023 during a tour of interviews granted to the provincial media.

He also shared his concern about hormonal treatments offered to young people.

I think people don't understand what we expose young children to.

A quote from Blaine Higgs, Premier of New Brunswick

The Prime Minister's team was unable to provide the source he relied on to share this information.

During the year, the Prime Minister has already caused a lot of ink to be spilled by announcing controversial changes to his policy on the integration of transgender and non-binary students in the province's schools.

First, there are no children, before puberty, who take medical treatments. It's during adolescence, it's during puberty, insists Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, professor at the school of social work at the University of Montreal, and specialist in trans issues.

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Annie Pullen Sansfaçon is an expert on issues relating to transgender children and young people at the University of Montreal.

In fact, the use of puberty blockers, a medication that temporarily suspends puberty, is not widespread, according to her.

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She cites a study conducted in 2019 across the country with a sample of 1519 trans adolescents and young adults.

There are only 12% of this sample there who took hormone blockers. 12% is not a lot.

A quote from Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, professor at the University of Montreal

Concerning hormonal treatments, such as estrogen or testosterone, she indicates that 44% of young people have embarked on this path.

So out of the sample, we have less than half who had access to gender-affirming care.

Annie Pullen Sansfaçon also emphasizes that hormonal treatments are offered at the end of a process between the doctor and his patient.

Even if a young person has a prescription after their first appointment with the endocrinologist, it took about five years before they got to that appointment. It’s really important to clarify that, explains the woman who is also the former holder of the Canada research chair on transgender children and their families. To assert this, she bases herself on a study of which she is co-author.

According to the researcher, the Prime Minister's interpretation is very very incomplete.

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The researcher specializing in transgender issues believes that the ministry's comments can have harmful consequences for young transgender people.

She believes that Blaine Higgs' statement can have a real impact on young people who start talking about their gender to their parents who will be afraid because “we don't want to go too fast, it's dangerous, we hears all kinds of things" although that is not the reality. According to the Prime Minister's remarks may mislead the population.

Radio-Canada consulted a New Brunswick pediatrician who provides care to young people trans patients. He did not want to grant an interview, but corroborated that several stages must be crossed before arriving at the use of hormonal treatments.

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