OTTAWA –NDP MP Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) introduced a bill in the House of Commons today that would include gender identity or gender expression as a prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
This Bill is essential as it addresses the lack of protections against discrimination and harassment provided for Transsexual and Transgender people in the Canadian Human Rights Act. “Transgender and Transsexual people are often victims of violence and face discrimination on a daily basis”, said Siksay, “this is unacceptable and the inequity in protections for trans people must be immediately addressed by Canadian laws.”
“It is my hope that the inclusion of this ground would send a strong message that people should not be discriminated against because of their gender identity or gender expression. Such discrimination is wrong and this intolerance must end.” said Siksay
Siksay conducted national email consultations and in person consultations in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa on trans legislative needs.
The Bill follows the lead of the Northwest Territories, which was the first region in Canada to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity in November of 2002. The Bill also fulfills the NDP’s commitment in the 2004 election platform to ensure equality for transgender and transsexual people.