Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Politics 713: Blaine Higgs calls for support from a controversial American expert

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A demonstration in Fredericton in favor of maintaining policy 713 in schools.

  • Michel Corriveau (View profile)Michel Corriveau

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs asked a psychologist from California to come and defend positions close to his own regarding transgender youth.

The New Brunswick Premier's Office held a press conference to allow a controversial American psychologist to advocate views similar to those of Blaine Higgs regarding various issues affecting transgender youth.

Dr. Erica Anderson believes, like Blaine Higgs, that parents have the right, in all circumstances, to be informed that their children are using another first name than the one given to them at birth, even if there is a risk that this information will be poorly received.

Like the Prime Minister, she emphasizes that it is precisely the role of teachers and school counselors to protect children who find themselves in danger at home.

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Dr. Erica Anderson, a psychologist, supports the positions of Prime Minister Blaine Higgs.

This psychologist, who is herself transgender, also believes that transitional health services offered to young people should be limited. She has expressed this opinion in several forums over the years, mainly in the United States.

If Dr. Anderson's views are well received by conservative American institutions, they are far from unanimous within the medical profession.< /p>

In an end-of-year interview in December, Premier Higgs said that about 60% of children receive puberty blockers after only a consultation with a doctor.

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Prime Minister Blaine Higgs called on a controversial Californian psychologist.

However, this is not accurate, experts later explained in the domain. Since then, Blaine Higgs has remained silent on this issue until Dr. Anderson was called to the rescue.

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It is a political approach. The Prime Minister is trying to corroborate his political position, who wants to go to elections on this issue, among others, believes the Green MP for Kent-North, Kevin Arseneau.

By email, the Liberal leader also expressed her disapproval.

I am disappointed but not surprised. That's what concerns Higgs as New Brunswick's health care system lies in ruins, laments Susan Holt.

After several questions from journalists, Dr. Anderson ended up admitting that she knew nothing about the situation in New Brunswick, where, precisely, she was asked to intervene publicly.

Asked if she had evidence of a lack of caution in Canada regarding the transition services offered, she simply replied: Not in Canada specifically.

Dr. Anderson only referred to specific cases in Europe or the United States.

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Kevin Arseneau, Green MP for the Kent-North riding , in New Brunswick, denounces Blaine Higgs' approach, which he considers very political.

However, even if she does not know the situation in New Brunswick, we still called on her.

I think that some people have asked her told [Blaine Higgs] that I knew something about this subject […] in New Brunswick and he took it upon himself to invite me, she explains.

The Prime Minister called on her before the holidays, she recalls, several months after Blaine Higgs had made public his own opinions in this debate.

I provided some training to the Prime Minister and others and that's why I was invited, she said.

Kevin Arseneau believes that the Prime Minister could simply have consulted the experts who really know the situation in the province.

We have experts here in New Brunswick, and the Prime Minister does not listen to these experts.

Psychologist Erica Andersen, who is based in Berkeley, California, has also served as a consultant to the Saskatchewan government.

This province quickly followed New Brunswick's lead and similarly changed its policy on transgender minors in the summer of 2023.

Sexuality and gender education policy is now being challenged in court in Saskatchewan. Documents submitted by the government in response to the lawsuit noted that Erica Anderson was the expert the province relied on to draft its new rules.

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