Calgary, AB (October 11, 2017): Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan released the following statement in reaction to the release of the first Alberta Trans Youth Survey:
“I’m deeply saddened to see that so many trans youth in Alberta continue to be targeted by discrimination and violence. While trans issues have started to achieve increased awareness in recent years, this report is a sobering reminder that we still have a long way to go before trans persons - and particularly trans youth - feel safe and accepted in our society.
“One urgent step that we need to take in this regard is providing better health supports for the trans community. Alberta lags far behind other provinces on LGBTQ2S+-inclusive health care. As recently as February of this year, my colleague Dr. David Swann drew attention to Calgary’s Metta Clinic, one of the only health resources available for trans youth in the province, which at the time only received enough funding to operate for one day a month. Over 500 Albertans recognized that three years is an utterly unacceptable wait time for such a vulnerable group and signed our petition to increase funding for the clinic. Edmonton, too, suffers from fragmented medical supports which need to be addressed.
“Further, we need to ensure that trans youth feel safe in their schools, where they spend most of their days. I am calling on Education Minister David Eggen to add specific accommodations and supports for trans youth into the School Act, such as the right to access gender-neutral washrooms and to change their names and pronouns in school records. These accommodations and supports are included in the Minister’s “optional” LGBTQ guidelines - which should be mandatory.
“Trans youth in Alberta need to know they are supported, and they are loved. Our government needs to take more tangible measures to demonstrate that.”