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Poll says transgender athletes shouldn’t compete against women

By a four-to-one margin, Canadians believe it is “unfair” for transgender athletes who were born male to compete in women’s sport events.

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A new poll conducted on behalf of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute reveals Canadians support traditional sex-based categories for competitive sport by wide margins.

They also believe that allowing transgender athletes who were born male but who identify as women to compete in women’s competitive events is “unfair.”

Three times as many Canadians (56% of respondents) believe it is “right” for men and women to compete separately from each other as those who think separate gender categories are “wrong” in sport (18% of respondents).


As well, by a four-to-one margin, Canadians believe it is “unfair” for transgender athletes who were born male to compete in women’s sports events. Sixty-two percent called this participation “unfair,” and only 15% called it “fair.”

This timely data comes during the Tokyo Olympics and a growing debate in Canada and around the world over the best way to include transgender athletes without compromising the fairness of women’s sport.

Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand-born male-to-female transgender weightlifter failed three times to lift the required weight in the 2020 Games.

“Sport is about bodies and bodies differ, sometimes in ways that are important for sport,” said Leslie Howe, a professor of philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan and MLI contributor.

“Sex-based categories exist in sport to ensure the fairness and validity of competition, the safety of competitors, and to ensure the inclusion of women and girls in sport, providing opportunities for them that would not otherwise exist. If sport isn’t fair, it just isn’t sport.”

Different sporting bodies and decision-makers have taken a wide range of approaches to this issue, including allowing athletes’ self-identification to determine the sex category that they participate in.

Other agencies require significant medical interventions, hormone standards, and/or waiting periods imposed on athletes before they can compete in a category as per their gender identity. Others require athletes to participate in the category of their sex at birth.

The new MLI polling indicates significant disagreement among Canadians regarding the best approach to balance inclusion and fairness.

Seventeen percent of Canadians believe transgender athletes should be able to compete against any sex they wish to based on their self-identification as a man or woman.

Roughly the same number believe transgender athletes ought to compete against other transgender athletes in a separate category. Just over 22% believe athletes should only be allowed to compete with athletes of the same sex that they were assigned at birth, and 25% prefer an “open or mixed category” to include transgender individuals. The remainder, 18%, were unsure.

“The IOC has admitted that its policy for transgender athletes is ‘not fit for purpose’ and seeks to shift the onus back onto international federations,” said Jon Pike, former chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association and MLI contributor.

“This is a failure of leadership. Safe, fair, and maximally inclusive sport must be built on rational, evidence-based policy-making that can win reflective and well-considered public support.”

While there are few divisions in Canadians’ views based on education, gender, or region, it is evident that age is a significant factor contributing to respondents’ opinions. Those 55+ tend to be somewhat more likely to be concerned about the impact of transgender athletes on women’s competition. For instance, a third of Canadians under 34 believe that transgender athletes should be able to compete in any category based on gender self-identity, whereas only 7% of those 55+ hold a similar view.

“Governments do countless things that affect lives – from health and military spending to taxation and roads,” noted Conrad Winn, a political science professor at Carleton University and founder of COMPAS Research.

“But there are few things that resonate with the average person more than sports, sex, and gender. Sports administrators and government leaders need to pay attention to polls that reflect what people may care about. These opinion research findings are worth considering as policy leaders search for the right answers.”

To learn more, check out the interactive polling data here, or review the analysis of this data. An MLI webinar discussing the findings can be watched here.

Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based contributor for Western Standard.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. RW

    August 6, 2021 at 8:05 am

    The trans should just form their own group, to compete against other trans only.

  2. Hutsul Honey

    August 6, 2021 at 7:07 am

    If you don’t believe in the biology that says there are only two genders, male and female, than you are a science denier.

  3. Steven

    August 5, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    What do you think of when you see the Olympic symbol? To me it has become irrelevant, expensive to put on & the elites & politicians get to hob knob at taxpayer expense. There has to be a better less expensive way to have the Summer & Winter Olympic games.

    Calgary was quite right to vote down holding the 2026 Olympics because of the cost taxpayers here would be stuck with in cost overruns; and don’t tell me that isn’t going to happen. Just look at the new hockey arena cost over runs, but I do support that venture as Calgary needs a new NHL arena. I’ll never support Calgary having the Olympics again.

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Kenney leadership review to be held April 9 in Red Deer, in convention-style vote

The UCP board decided not to listen to demands from 22 constituency associations that wanted a review by March at the latest, said a Western Standard source close to the board.

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Editor’s note. Due to a typo, the initial version of the story said the review would be April 6. Sources say the vote will take place April 9.

A pay-to-vote leadership review of United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney will be held April 9 in Red Deer, the Western Standard has learned.

The UCP board decided not to listen to demands from 22 constituency associations that wanted a review by March at the latest, said a Western Standard source close to the board.

The source said the board felt it was “being generous” to the 22 rebel ridings by holding a review in April.

Details on how much it will cost to go to the conference are still being worked out, but it will be a system where you have to pay to vote, the source said.

Those details are expected to be announced in January.

While the board meeting was “friendly,” pro-Kenney factions later held long discussions to plan strategy, said the source.

A convention-style review appears to favour Kenney as opposed to a one-vote-per-party-member system as Kenney is famed for his political organizing power.

His office came under fire last month for allegedly using money from third-party political action committees (PACs) to send people to the UCP AGM which turned into a Kenney love-fest that left the leader smiling.

Kenney denied knowledge of the PAC money.

“I’m not involved in third party organizations, but third party political organizations are free, within the law, to be involved in politics,” said Kenney.

Prior to the AGM Airdrie-Cochrane UCP MLA Peter Guthrie sent Kenney a letter which said the party was on the verge of collapse. 

“Public opinion continues to wane, and we may be at a point where this party cannot be salvaged,” writes Guthrie, in the letter obtained by the Western Standard.

“Membership has fallen from 150,000 to less than 10,000 and fundraising is evaporating along with our credibility.”

Much of the UCP grassroots frustration has come on the heels of controversial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Kenney also brought in a vaccine passport scheme he vowed never to introduce.

Another scandal that infuriated UCP members was when the infamous pictures were published of Kenney holding an outdoor dinner on the balcony of the “Sky Palace” in contravention of the government’s of laws, regulations, and guidelines.

In April, a UCP MLA told the Western Standard they are “100% certain” Kenney would be the subject of an early party leadership review.

“Caucus is in total chaos,” said the MLA, who spoke with the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity.

But the expected caucus revolt failed to materialize.

At one point the caucus booted MLAs Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes for dissension.

Editor’s note. Due to a typo, the initial version of the story said the review would be April 6. Sources say the vote will take place April 9.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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YouTube cancels Western Standard for reporting news story

“Your channel now has one strike,” said YouTube in the e-mail, adding Western Standard’s account has been suspended for one week.

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YouTube issued one strike against the Western Standard for reporting on a Calgary police officer who was put on leave for refusing the COVID-19 vaccinations.

YouTube sent the notification via e-mail to Derek Fildebrandt, president and CEO of the Western Standard, on Wednesday, and stated the video included in the story violates YouTube’s “medical misinformation policy.”

“YouTube doesn’t allow claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO),” said the e-mail.

“YouTube banned our account for sharing content that contradicted the advice of the WHO and local health authorities,” said Fildebrandt.

“But the WHO and local health authorities contradict themselves. One such health authority, Alberta Health Services (AHS), had to contradict itself after the Western Standard caught them lying to Albertans about which they falsely claimed was a COVID-19 death of a child.”

The notice indicated YouTube had removed the video stating, “We know this might be disappointing, but it’s important to us that YouTube is a safe place for all.”

In the video, an emotional Const. Brian Denison, a 24-year veteran with the Calgary Police Service (CPS), explained the turmoil he has faced for refusing to be vaccinated by the December 1 deadline set out by the CPS.

Denison, one year from retirement, called the vaccine policy a “farce” and said the CPS is “bullying” staff. He also described the segregation of society into the “vaccinated and unvaccinated” as similar to Hitler’s Nazi regime.

The Western Standard’s News Editor Dave Naylor covered the story in an unbiased fashion and included the video of Denison.

“Your channel now has one strike,” said YouTube in the e-mail, adding Western Standard’s account has been suspended for one week.

The YouTube team further warned a second strike will result in a two-week suspension and three strikes within a 90-day period would result in the channel being permanently removed.

“YouTube — like other big tech and big social corporations — is so terrified of being regulated by the government that it over-regulates itself,” said Fildebrandt.

“In time, these monopolies will destroy themselves.”

The Western Standard has already submitted an appeal to YouTube and contacted their press department, as well as moved the video in question to Rumble.

“Of all the social media giants, YouTube has the weakest monopoly,” said Fildebrandt.

“They can ban the Western Standard and other media from posting legitimate news content all they like, and we’ll just put it on other platforms. That’s why we’ve been making a concerted effort to utilize platforms with a greater respect for free speech, like Rumble.”

The Western Standard did not receive a response from YouTube’s press department in time for publishing.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Canada joins growing diplomatic boycott of Chinese 2022 Olympics

The countries say the move is to protest the human rights record of the Chinese government, especially when it comes to the minority Uyghur Muslim community.

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First, it was the US. Then Australia. Now Canada has joined the list of countries refusing to send diplomats or high-level officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

The countries say the move is to protest the human rights record of the Chinese government, especially when it comes to the minority Uyghur Muslim community.

Canadian athletes will still be allowed to compete.

“For months, we have been coordinating and discussing the issue with our allies,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday.

“As many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government.

“This should not come as a surprise” to the Chinese regime, said Trudeau.

“(The athletes) need to have one thing in mind and that’s representing the country to the best of their ability and winning a gold medal for Canada,” he said.

Earlier this year, the House of Commons passed a motion calling the violence directed at religious minorities in China’s Xinjiang province as “genocide.” Trudeau and his cabinet were absent for the vote.

In a statement, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) said it “understands and respects” the decision and applauds the effort to “draw an important distinction between the participation of athletes and the participation of government officials.”

Canada’s last Olympic boycott was in Russia in 1980, protesting that country’s invasion of Afghanistan.

The US announced its decision on Monday.

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the [People’s Republic of China]’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing.

Chinese officials have already said the US will pay for its boycott.

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