Garrison introduces bill to protect transgender rights

A high profile private members' bill to protect transgender people from discrimination was re-introduced by Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison in the House of Commons.

  • Sep. 22, 2011 5:00 p.m.

A high profile private members’ bill to protect transgender people from discrimination was re-introduced by Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The bill, originally put forward by former NDP MP Bill Siksay, passed three readings in the House last February and was awaiting senate approval when the federal election was called.

Now it’s back to square one for the bill that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to add the word “gender expression” and “gender identity” as prohibited grounds of discrimination. It would also modify the Criminal Code to recognize discrimination based on these means as a hate crime.

“This is a very important question of equality for all people,” said Garrison, who is the NDP’s critic on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual (LGBTT) issues.

This is the first bill introduced into the House by the rookie MP. While private members bills don’t often become law, Garrison thinks this one has a good chance, particularly because of the orange wave in parliament.

“If the NDP unanimously supports the bill—as they did in the last session—I only need 15 votes from across the aisle,” Garrison said from Ottawa on Wednesday.

So far he’s counted six returning MPs that supported the bill in the last session, and he’ll have at least a few months to lobby others for support. Private member bills are not subject to party discipline, meaning each individual MP is free to vote however he or she chooses.

The order in which private members bills are voted on is determined by a lottery, which took place last June. Garrison is number 38 on the list.

Just below him, in the 40th spot, is Vancouver Centre MP (Liberal) Hedy Fry who also planned to re-introduce Siksay’s bill. She brought forward her bill two days before Garrison.

“I have great support from my party, and from Bill (Siksay), to move this forward and it fits within my role to represent LGBTT issues,” Garrison said.

“There are many trans people that face discrimination in Canada—they are our friends, in our families and part of our communities—and they deserve the same basic rights as the rest of us.”

 

Just Posted

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Campbell River teen on the mend a year later

Jonah Shankar’s treatment for brain tumour involved trips to UK

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Most Read