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Saturday 08 April 2017

Canada and Transgender Equality

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 27th March 2017

As the world turns, Canada is entering the final stage of legislative debate before passing Bill C-16 into law. This transgender rights bill will add gender identity and gender appearance directly to Canada's anti-discrimination federal Human Rights Act. and other promising signs are happening.

At present, the federal status of Bill C-16 is that it has passed its second reading in the Canadian Senate, and is currently being assessed before the Legislative Affairs Committee, before heading back to the full Senate for its third reading and passage into law. Outside Parliament, REAL Women of Canada and other transphobes are endlessly regurgitating lies and cliches from the US Christian Right in a vain effort to avert the inevitable. Like Family First in New Zealand, REAL Women thinks little of national sovereign and is a cravenly dependent satellite of its United States counterparts insofar as propaganda, tactics and strategy go. However, even it has given up and is now focusing its attention on stacking the Conservative Party of Canada in order to make it more resolutely religiously socially conservative and not electable as a consequence. Inevitably, the international Christian Right gabfest at the World Congress of Families 2017 is to be held in Hungary this year.

At the same time, there are additional welcome developments outside Ottawa as several Canadian provinces have anticipated the federal legislature by including gender identity within their own provincial anti-discrimination legislation. In the case of indigenous Inuit-dominated Nunavut, the legislative move was unanimous, showing good faith and solidarity with two-spirited Inuit in Canada's Arctic North and should be applauded for the degree and scope of such inclusiveness. The easternmost Atlantic coast province of New Brunswick has also introduced Bill 51, intended to add gender identity and appearance to provincial anti-discrimination legislation. Bill 37 will also amend the Change of Name Act and Vital Statistics Act to make it easier to change officially documented gender without reassignment surgery and simplifies the process of adopting a more accurate first name. Also in the far north, Yukon is moving to amend its provincial Human Rights Act and Vital Statistics Act in a manner akin to New Brunswick so that its provincial anti-discrimination laws and official document amendment legislation reflect transgender rights and needs.

These are indeed welcome developments- and one wonders how much longer New Zealand transpeople will have to wait for direct inclusion within our own Human Rights Act when the United Kingdom, Australia and (soon) Canada have moved forward to do so. We risk being isolated among New Zealand's traditional allies and senior Commonwealth colleagues when it comes to this important measure of human rights, solely due to centre-right government inertia.


Rob Salerno: "New Brunswick government introduces trans rights bill"Daily Xtra:16.03.2017: canada/news-and-ideas/news/ new-brunswick-government- introduces-trans-rights-bill- 216965

Rob Salerno: "Nunavut passes trans right law"Daily Xtra:14.03.2017:http://www. ideas/news/nunavut-passes- trans-rights-law-216803

Rob Salerno: "Yukon moves to protect trans rights"Daily Xtra: 15.03.2017:http://www. ideas/news/yukon-moves- protect-trans-rights-216887

Dylan Robertson: "Experts scheduled to testify on trans rights bill in April"Daily Xtra:09.03.2017:http://www. ideas/news/experts-scheduled- testify-trans-rights-bill-in- april-216605

Not Recommended:

Craig Young - 27th March 2017

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