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May 17th, 2016

NDP welcomes government bill to protect gender identity and gender expression

OTTAWA – Today, Randall Garrison, NDP LGBTQ critic and MP for Esquimalt — Saanich — Sooke, welcomed the government’s introduction of a bill to add protections based on gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. The text of the government's legislation is identical to bills put forward in the past by the NDP.

“Today is a good day for the Trans community. Trans and gender non-binary people deserve equal rights and protections and have been waiting for far too long. This is an important step in ensuring equal rights for all Canadians,” said Garrison.

Today marks the seventh time in the past 10 years that this legislation has been introduced. New Democrats have a long history of bringing forward legislation to guarantee trans rights. Former NDP MP, Bill Siksay, introduced similar legislation in three previous parliaments starting in 2005 and MP Garrison in 2011 and again in 2015. Bills passed the House of Commons twice, in 2011 and 2013, only to be killed by delay and inaction in the Senate.

“I am hoping the government will now adopt an expedited process for the bill given recent events, including the May 2nd arson attack on the only clinic in Canada that performs gender affirming surgery in Montreal,” added Garrison.