Skip to main content
Start of content
Start of content

441-01628 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada


The incidence of gender dysphoria has been increasing rapidly in Canada, particularly in youth and young adults without a prior history of gender dysphoria in childhood;

The gender affirming model of treatment which is currently being followed in Canada is not evidence based as it has never been validated by a systematic review; and

The health authorities in Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, which have conducted all systematic reviews, have found that the evidence in support of the gender affirming model is low quality and have adopted guidelines which make exploratory psychotherapy the first line of treatment.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to commission the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to conduct its own systematic review and to then develop evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of gender dysphoria of children, adolescents, and young adults.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Mark Holland

The Minister of Health has a responsibility to protect and promote the health of all Canadians, including of trans and non-binary people in Canada. Our Government is committed to working towards a more equitable, diverse and inclusive country, where everyone is free to be themselves and participate fully in society.

Everyone, regardless of their gender identity, has the right to be their authentic self, which includes having access to the care that they need to lead a happy and healthy life.

Gender dysphoria refers to the distress that trans and non-binary people experience resulting from a difference between a person’s gender identity and the person’s assigned sex at birth, associated gender role, and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics.

Gender-affirming care refers to culturally competent health care that is provided to an individual across their lifespan in support of their gender identity, which may include medical, surgical, social and/or psychological services and refrains from directing a person towards any particular identity. It is important to note that the provision of transition-related care, such as medical gender affirmation via hormones or surgery, does not alone ensure that the care provided is gender-affirming.

Standards and guidelines are set by disciplinary professional associations and are based on the best available evidence at the time. There are several widely accepted practice guidelines/position statements on gender-affirming care that have been produced by a range of clinical organizations to provide information and support to their members (e.g., An affirming approach to caring for transgender and gender-diverse youth | Canadian Paediatric Society ( and Canadian Psychological Association 2023 Position Statement on Promotion of Gender Diversity and Expression and Prevention of Gender-Related Hate and Harm).

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) offers guidelines called “Standards of Care” (SOC) to provide clinical guidance for health professionals to assist transgender and gender diverse children, youth, and adults with safe and effective pathways to care. WPATH’s eighth edition of the Standards of Care (SOC8) were released in September 2022. WPATH outlines how the guidelines were developed, and that the process followed recommendations on clinical practice guideline development from the World Health Organization and the US’s National Academies of Medicine. Notably, a team of independent researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted the systematic reviews of research evidence that underpin the WPATH guidelines.

There is a lack of data available to confirm if there has been an increase in numbers of people experiencing gender dysphoria in Canada. However, younger people may be more willing to disclose their gender identity to organizations such as Statistics Canada. This may be due, in part, to improvements in the social supports, greater acceptance and visibility, increasing human rights protections, and other forms of supportive legislation for transgender, non-binary and other 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada.

The?Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care?was established by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) as an independent and arms-length group to develop?clinical practice guidelines?that support primary care providers in delivering preventive health care. The mandate of the Task Force is to develop and disseminate evidence-based guidelines that can be used to improve clinical preventive interventions, such as screening for certain cancers, in primary care practice in Canada. Given the Task Force operates at arm’s length, PHAC and Health Canada do not assign topics for its consideration. The Task Force is an independent body of 15 primary care and prevention experts from across Canada who recognize and support the need for evidence-informed preventive activities in primary care.

The Government of Canada stands firm against misinformation and disinformation regarding the care of trans people and reiterates the importance of shared decision-making between the patient and their health provider based on the best evidence available and the unique needs of individuals.

Presented to the House of Commons
Larry Maguire (Brandon—Souris)
September 19, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01628)
Government response tabled
November 2, 2023
Photo - Larry Maguire
Conservative Caucus

103 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.