Update on C-279, courtesy of our friends at Trans Pride Canada:
The parliamentary committee reviewing this bill is receiving deputations from concerned groups on Nov. 20 and 22. On Nov. 27, they will meet to determine what to present to parliament by Dec. 6 regarding this bill.
There are a lot of issues being discussed during the deputations, including:
– Hard-coding definitions of Gender Identity and/or Gender Expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This would be unprecedented as no other protected group has had a hard-coded definition of their constituency. Hard-coding would likely exclude some trans people from protections under this legislation. It is our opinion that this is unacceptable for these reasons.
– The inclusion or exclusion of the term “gender expression”, which many Conservatives have clearly indicated they want to exclude if they are to vote in favour of this bill. Egale Canada and Trans Pride Canada together commissioned an official opinion from constitutional lawyers on this issue, which concluded that human rights are broadly interpreted under the CHRA and the absence of “gender expression” would not limit the rights of any trans people because they’ll be covered under “gender identity”. Nevertheless, this is a contentious issue.
– The current French language translation of the bill which conflates gender identity with sexual orientation. There is an indication that this translation is being corrected now before this bill goes back to parliament.
– Whether trans people are currently and adequately protected under the term of “sex” in the CHRA and Criminal Code. Our conversations with other parties who are presenting confirm that this assertion is resoundingly rejected by all of us. For example, 20% of trans people in Canada have experienced physical assault and there has never been a hate crime judgement based on this.
We will update here as we acquire further information regarding the bill.