Erin O'Toole poppers Conservatives

Conservatives court LGBTQ2IA+ voters with call to study, legalize poppers

Erin O’Toole was asked about poppers on the campaign trail today following last week’s open letter from Conservatives to Health Canada.

Though Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole grabbed more headlines today by voicing his pro-choice status on abortion, the more surprising issue to arise on the campaign stop in Ottawa was poppers. Last week Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner published an open letter to federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu asking Health Canada to further study, regulate and legalize alkyl nitrites, aka poppers. The sexual aide has long been used by gay and bisexual men “to increase sexual pleasure and reduce pain.”

Conservatives court LGBTQ2IA+ voters with call to study, legalize poppers

According to a report in Xtra, Australia recently changed its stance on alkyl nitrites to make them available by prescription. While poppers are technically also available by prescription in Canada, there is no approved brand of the drug, effectively banning the substance and pushing their sale onto the grey and black markets. Garner’s open letter came about largely in response to an outreach campaign by Vancouver’s Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC).

This morning Erin O’Toole was asked whether his party, and his theoretical government, would be open to legalizing poppers. He effectively said yes, noting that the Conservatives are sensitive to health care concerns of all Canadians.

“We will advocate, including asking for Health Canada to examine issues of concern to the LGBTQ community.”

—Erin O’Toole

Erin O’Toole in Ottawa, answering a question about poppers (at the 12-minute mark)

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