Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Poilievre:

I'm going to hope that your recent comments regarding Ontario funding GRS were rooted in ignorance, not malice.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre says he wants the federal government to step in and prevent Ontario from funding sex reassignment surgery.

"I will write the minister of finance, Jim Flaherty, to seek assurance that federal health transfers should go only to vital health care treatments and not to the McGuinty sex-change program," said Mr. Poilievre, the MP for Nepean-Carleton.

Aren't the Federal Conservatives all about "less Ottawa intervention in provincial affairs"?; smaller government; etc.? Well - only sort of. It seems that only goes as far as their burning desire to impose their moral values upon others. As soon as they sniff something they deem "immoral", they're off to impose some kind of rule or another to make sure that they are being as obstructive as possible.

As the Editors at the Ottawa Citizen point out, it's not like Mr. Poilievre is actuall taking on a significant group in the population:

Usually politicians looking to score easy points will rail against needle exchange programs, but transgendered people are even more marginalized than drug addicts, so they make an even safer target to beat up on. This is on the same level of cheap politics as whipping up anger because an academic somewhere received a grant to write a thesis on, say, snail reproduction.

This isn't to say that people can't ask whether same-sex operations are medically necessary. This is a fair question. But Mr. Poilievre's smarmy quip about the "McGuinty sex-change program," suggesting that the government is promoting sex reassignment, shows he is simply being opportunistic.

Pardon us if we don't admire his courage for taking on the all-powerful transgendered lobby.

However, the good news is that more informed and intelligent minds than that which resides in Mr. Poilievre have chosen to make themselves heard too:

In my own practice, transgendered patients describe a lifelong, pervasive incongruity between their physical sex and their emotional status. Personally, I can't imagine a much more hellish existence.

Transgendered people exist. Gender reassignment surgery is considered an effective, appropriate therapy for some of these individuals. The withholding of such surgery can lead to severe psychological problems and suicide, as has occurred in my own practice. If we put aside our value judgments, it cannot be argued that gender reassignment surgery is anything but medically necessary. Such surgery can be as lifesaving as a coronary bypass.

Sadly, I think that Mr. Poilievre is unlikely to listen to the doctor who penned that letter - nor are most of his colleagues in the Con$ervative caucus. They have already shown Canadians time and again that they are willing to attack anyone they consider immoral or of lesser social value than themselves. Whether one is a woman, a minority or just plain old "socially unacceptable" to their idealization of 1950s "family values", they don't give a damn, and are quite happy to attack your very existence in the most vicious ways possible.

Pray that they don't decide that a heart attack is a result of a "licentious lifestyle" anytime soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wrote Pierre Poilievre an email the same day the article appeared in the Globe, and I copied the PM, Jim Flaherty, St├ęphane Dion, and George Smitherman. For all the good it will do. Logic only works on critical thinkers.

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