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February 25th, 2015

NDP critical of Senate attempt to block transgender rights

On this Anti-bullying Day, the NDP is criticizing the unelected Senate for blocking Bill C-279 aimed at protecting the rights of transgender people, after it was legitimately adopted two years ago by elected members of all parties in the House of Commons.

“The Senate’s attempt to obstruct this bill that would finally give transgender Canadians the protection and equal status they deserve is reprehensible. The bill was examined in depth and passed by MPs in the House, and I would enjoin the Senate to do the same,” said NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca).

Bill C-279 was designed to put protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual identity into law – a long-awaited initiative. Transgender individuals are among the most marginalized in society, and passing this bill would be a huge step towards equality. However, the Senate proposed to amend the bill, knowing full well that it would die on the Order Paper without any chance of making it back to the House before this year’s elections.

“This is another reason why we should abolish the Senate. Their obstruction of a bill that has received the approval of elected MPs must cease. It is time to recognize that transgender Canadians are entitled to the same rights and protections all Canadians enjoy.”