Canadians had a lot to say on social media after Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre claimed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was "demonizing" parents following recent rallies over LGBTQ+ school policies.
Trudeau took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday with a strict message reminding people that transphobia, homophobia and biphobia have "no place" in Canada.
"We strongly condemn this hate and its manifestations, and we stand united in support of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians across the country — you are valid and you are valued," the Liberal Party leader wrote.
But Poilievre responded with his own thoughts on Friday afternoon, condemning Trudeau for how he "always divides to distract from all he has broken" in a post that's been seen more than 1.5 million times.
"This time, he is demonizing concerned parents," Poilievre penned. "Parents should be the final authority on the values and lessons that are taught to children. Trudeau should butt out and let parents raise their kids."
Both comments come after thousands in cities like Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver participated in protests and counter-protests regarding LGBTQ+ policies in Canadian schools.
This past summer, leaders in some Canadian provinces began announcing changes to school policies that would impact queer students, particularly those who are transgender or non-binary.
In June, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced new changes to a protective policy for queer students. Those changes mean teachers in the province will not be required to use the preferred names or pronouns of transgender or non-binary students under the age of 16 without parental consent.
Saskatchewan Education Minister Dustin Duncan announced a similar policy change in August, where teachers must seek parental approval before a student under the age of 16 can change their names or pronouns.
According to an Ipsos poll released on Sept. 21, support for electing Poilievre as prime minister is rising amongst Canadians.
Four in ten people polled (40 per cent) view the Conservative Party leader as the best person to run the country. On the other hand, support for Trudeau remained stagnant at 31 per cent, while support for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh slid to 22 per cent.
While some users on X were supportive of Poilievre's post on Friday, others called out the politician for his "unacceptable" remarks.
Absolutely unacceptable! Just a really dark moment.
— guyfelicella (@guyfelicella) September 22, 2023
Respectfully, I disagree.
We can't allow parents, however rarely it happens, to be the final authority on values and lessons taught to children when the value is to overthrow democracy and the lessons are how to do it.
Good pubic education is vital to a strong and free Canada.
— Joan Abernethy (@joansview) September 22, 2023
So you agree with homophobia and transphobia then Pierre ?
— Mitch 🇨🇦 (@Mitch6669) September 22, 2023
This comment is insane considering all the PMs message says is that the LGBT community is valued
"Parents should be the final authority on the values and lessons that are taught"
So, uhhhh, are you saying that they should be able to teach their kids gay people aren't valued??
— Chainbrain 🇨🇦 🎸 (@xChainbrain) September 22, 2023
I am BEGGING journalists to take a hard stance on this and question Poilievre for this appalling and deplorable statement. Poilievre would rather make a cheap political statement than stand up for 2SLGBTQI+ rights and human rights. Canadians deserve better. https://t.co/FvuEMsT9yf
— Graham Robertson (@_grahamr) September 22, 2023