Our Letter to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)
Please use any part of this letter for your own use.
October 17, 2021
Dear Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives,
We are writing this open letter on behalf of Women’s Space Vancouver to CCPA Board Directors, Steering Committee Members and senior staff members regarding a political position recently taken by the CCPA. In June of this year, 2021, the CCPA signed onto a document called, “An Affirmation of Feminist Principles.” Individuals and groups, by signing, indicate support for a list of “key feminist principles and their alignment with issues pertaining to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.”
As several members of our group are decades long sex-based rights advocates and are also contributors to the CCPA, we are very concerned about the position the CCPA has taken to “align with issues” that leave out the issues of discrimination against women based on their sex. By signing the document, you have taken a position in support of changing Canadian laws to legalize prostitution, that drastic experimental and physical interventions on the bodies of children and teens seeking help with gender dysphoria is not to be questioned and, even more disturbing, that the CCPA agrees that “sex, gender and sexuality are social constructs like race, class and caste.”
Does the CCPA actually agree that biological sex is a social construct? Does the CCPA believe that race is a social construct? Does the CCPA believe that homosexuality is a social construct? Is the CCPA not convinced by massive global UN data that women are an oppressed class, based on their immutable sex? Has the CCPA forgotten that patriarchy around the world oppresses, terrorizes and murders women and girls based on their biological sex, a reality they cannot identify out of or deconstruct?
The CCPA is a highly respected organization that has gained the trust of many Canadians for the high quality of research done, for the depth of coverage you provide on issues of social and economic importance to Canadians. The Institute describes itself as “an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.” However, by signing this document, which is clearly a statement of gender credibility. For this reason, we ask that the CCPA withdraw its endorsement of the Affirmation of Feminist Principles.
We suggest that the CCPA do some research into the money supporting the gender ideology movement worldwide and the money several of these “philanthropists” stand to make through their pharmaceutical interests. Ask who benefits when children are convinced they need to become medical patients for life in order to be their “true selves.” Homophobia runs rampant when children are told they “must be affirmed as the opposite sex” because they do not “identify” with the stereotypes ascribed to their birth sex.
In order for the CCPA to live up to its reputation for independence, we challenge you to provide space in the Monitor for the expression of alternate points of view on the issues of trans rights in relation to sex-based rights, laws regarding prostitution, and the consequences of irreversible medical interventions promoted for children who may identify with the opposite sex or with stereotypes associated with the opposite sex.
Finally, the CCPA has signed a statement that includes this: “We recognize that there is no common human experience, including in the experience of gender.”
Women’s Space Vancouver regards this as a dystopian, neoliberal fallacy that undermines the solidarity of shared experience in the workplace, home and communities, among women and men, across national boundaries and among the oppressed.
We look forward to your response so that we may share it with our members.
Women’s Space Vancouver
These letters have been written by allies in support of our actions. They have allowed us to share them here.
Please feel free to use the content of these letters for your own submissions.
CCPA re: An Affirmation of Feminist Principles
To Whom it may concern,
I am cancelling my monthly donation to the CCPA. As a radical feminist, I no longer believe that the CCPA is committed to working toward equality for all women. When the CCPA signed the document called, “An Affirmation of Feminist Principles,” you signed on to a statement that seeks to change Canadian laws to legalize prostitution, that supports experimental interventions to sterilize children and teens and you agree that sex, gender and sexuality are social constructs. You have become advocates for and proponents of Gender Identity Ideology, that conflates sex and gender, privileges gender over sex, ignores human biology, says we are born with an internal gender, and that makes the sex based category, women, meaningless, thereby undermining women’s protected sex based rights as stated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The CCPA would have shown an intent to address the category women, an oppressed class, if you had instead signed onto the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979.
In the recent BCSOLUTIONS Shanon Daub writes to celebrate 25 years of research for hope and change. What is missing from the list of struggles she says the CCPA is committed to addressing, is any mention of sexism, misogyny or the Patriarchy.
I am sorry to withdraw financial support from the CCPA. As a long time supporter, and, who has made a portion of my estate willed to the CCPA, I will instead donate to organizations that I know support women’s sex based rights. I find untenable that the CCPA has signed on to an Ideology that undermines these rights.
CCPA re: An Affirmation of Feminist Principles
Dear Shannon Daub and the BC office,
I was a dedicated supporter of the CCPA. I worked with teachers in Burnaby (as union President) in 1996-98 to become members of the CCPA just as the BC office was getting off the ground. I am a monthly supporter and attended many fundraisers over the years. I have included a substantial donation to you in my will.
But my disappointment with your endorsation of the document, “Affirmation of Feminist Principles” has brought me to a new understanding of how far you have strayed from being a research organization.
Your silence regarding the letter from Women's Space Vancouver was truly disappointing. Surely I thought, if they are going to sign a letter that denies the existence of sex based rights, they will have a rationale or some research that seeks to justify this action. Nothing.
I understand it is a strategic response in a world that now punishes anyone who questions gender ideology. Powerful forces have aligned to make it impossible for organizations like the CCPA to raise questions or examine actual research that might identify problems with gender identity ideology or prostitution as a normalized form of work. You must conform or be attacked as transphobic or uncaring of women’s safety. Sometimes our work and our positions take courage. I am truly sorry that you have chosen the least line of resistance.
I have been here before. The political left had huge problems when women asserted their rights to address their oppression and not just that of the working class as a whole. Once again, women are being told that someone else’s rights, needs and sensibilities are more important than ours and we must adjust to a new reality—sex is just a social construct—gender is the more modern approach.
The worst part is that my “research” organization has now told me that too.
So I choose to assert my sex based rights because understanding my own oppression in a capitalist world is how I understand racism, homophobia, colonization and class oppression. I can’t be a progressive feminist on the political left and accept your under researched position that panders to a fragile hold on reality and barely masquerades as analysis.
You do good work in many areas. But in this instance, you cross a line—a core value—that means I can no longer support you.
Please stop my monthly payments and membership. I will amend my will soon.