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Women's Rights Matter's response to UCP's Policy Proposals

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

Yesterday we sent this letter to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith in response to the UCP's adopted policy proposals at their recent Policy Convention. We urge everyone who is able to to send their own letter. If you are unsure of what to write, check out our guide with some information to help you get started.

Dear Premier. Smith:  Re: Passed UCP Resolutions  Women’s Rights Matter is a Canadian non-profit and non-partisan grassroots women’s rights advocacy organization. Our membership consists of women across Canada, including Alberta. I urge you to implement some of the recently passed resolutions from the United Conservative Party (“UCP”) policy convention.   The policies that we particularly support include: Policy Proposal 15: Support all forms of rights and freedoms including those protected by the Charter; Policy Proposal 25: Make all administrative and regulatory bodies subject to the same rules of evidence and burden of proof as followed by the Courts; Policy Proposal 28: Require all regulatory professional associations and trade organizations to limit investigations of their members for complaints regarding professional conduct of their members to instances of activities that occur while ‘on the job’; and, Policy Proposal 29: Ensure prisons are sex-segregated in order to protect female prisoners.  Canada, along with many other Western countries, is experiencing an alarming decline in women's rights. This erosion has taken the form of removing sex-segregated spaces, such as changing facilities, washrooms, and prisons, changing or removing traditional language for females, such as using "birthing bodies" instead of "women," and silencing women. The phenomenon is so significant that this year, the UN Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women issued a statement condemning the treatment of women who speak out. In British Columbia, a nurse named Amy Hamm is currently facing a disciplinary hearing with the BC College of Nurses and Midwives. She might lose her nursing license, not because of any patient complaints or performance issues (in fact, she has never had a complaint before), but because some individuals were unhappy with her activism in her private time. There have been anonymous complaints regarding the placement of a billboard that read "I heart JK Rowling" and her public support for women's sex-based rights. Women’s Rights Matter is aware of other women who have faced employment consequences for speaking out in favour of women’s
Page 1 of letter to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith sent November 15, 2023

rights, even if it meant speaking out against gender ideology. There are also many women who feel unable to voice their opinions due to the fear of employment consequences.  Canadians overwhelmingly do not find the current policies that have been put in place with respect to trans-identified males as fair. In 2021 a survey was published by the MacDonald-Laurier Institute showing 47.41% felt very strongly that male and female sports divisions must exist, compared to 10.69% opposing, and 15.77% were unsure. With respect to transwomen competing against women: 50.45% felt it was very unfair versus 9.23% feeling it was completely fair and 12.5% were unsure. In that same poll, 58.7% felt that male-to-female transgender athletes should not compete in female sports divisions, 21.07% were unsure, and just 20.18% thought that they should compete in female divisions.   As for prisons, a 2022 poll showed 78.06% of Canadians believed it was somewhat to incredibly important that single-sex prisons be maintained, versus just 21.94% believing it is somewhat to completely unimportant. In that same polling, 49.9% of Canadians feel male-bodied individuals who identify as women should be housed in separate prisons, 22.07% should stay in male prisons, and 28.03% should be able to transfer to women's prisons. Based on the enclosed poll results, it is evident that a vast majority of Canadians would support the reinstatement of policies that have been detrimental to women's protection as a gender. This is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a matter of women's rights and not social conservatism. (Please find copies of both polls attached for your reference.)  A recent study conducted by the Correctional Service of Canada has revealed some alarming figures regarding trans-identified male prisoners. The study, titled "Examination of Gender Diverse Prisoners" (copy of the tables from the report are enclosed), shows that a high percentage of these prisoners have a history of committing sexual assault, and the vast majority of them have a low reintegration score. Additionally, the study highlights the general support for sex-segregated sports and prisons.  Women’s Rights Matter proposes the following policies to ensure that the rights and needs of women are met in Alberta: Prisons are sex-segregated. If it is warranted that trans-identified males require separate housing from the male population, a “transgender” wing be created in male prisons to accommodate those prisoners. The words “woman” and “girl” be officially defined as ‘human adult female’ and ‘human child female’ respectively to ensure that there is no confusion. Women’s washrooms and changing facilities are sex-segregated and exempt from being deemed discriminatory against any male individual, including trans-identified males. Schools and publicly funded organizations must have sex-segregated washrooms and changing facilities. They may opt to have third mixed-sex spaces. Criminals not be allowed to legally change their sex marker and name and must use their legal name from the time of their arrest. No male may compete in female sports divisions.
Page 2 of letter to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith sent November 15, 2023


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