Trans Rights need your help right now!
We need all Canadians to call & email their provincial Senator & tell them to pass this legislation right away!
See ways you can take action below.
What is Bill C-16
Bill C-16 amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender identity or expression and to clearly set out that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance that a court must take into consideration when it imposes a sentence.
Ultimately, this Act takes major steps to protect trans & gender non-binary Canadians against federal forms discrimination. We also hope it will be used to open the doors to other trans rights, as well as protections, resources and supports.
History of Act
Efforts to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identify & expression date back to May 2005 with efforts by Member of Parliament Bill Siksay from the riding of Burnaby-Douglas (BC). Over his tenure in parliament he re-introduced the legislation several time, however a lack of support in the house left the legislation to die on the order paper.
In 2011, newly elected Randall Garrison, Member of Parliament for Esquimalt-Saanish-Sooke (BC), succeed Bill Siksay as the NDP Critic on LGBTQ Issues, and re-introduced the legislation, which finally passed a third reading in the House of Commons, but was gutted by a cissexist amendment and eventually left to die on the order paper with the next election.
This year, Minister of Justice, Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, reintroduced Mr Garrison’s bill, and on Friday, November 18, it passed its third reading. It should be noted that Bill C-16 passed with 248 votes in favour and 40 against; the only opposition to the bill were 40 Conservative Members of Parliament, including Andrew Scheer and Brad Trost who are currently running for leadership of the party.
Next Steps, How can you help?
While Bill C-16 has passed through the House of Commons, there is no guarantee it will be pass in the Senate. In fact, it was the Senate that has historically made cissexist changes and/or ultimately left it to die on the order paper.
This is why we need your help.
We need Canadians to call & email their Senator and say that Bill C-16 needs to be passed unchanged immediately.
Taking action is easy. Simply:
- Click this link to open a list of Canadian Senators.
- Find any Senator in your home province.
- Email (see draft email below) or call them, and tell them to pass Bill C-16 immediately.
- Share this page on social media, at the office, in school and at your community organizations–and get your friends and family to take action too!
What is the CCGSD doing?
Since November, the CCGSD has been working to educate parliamentarians on the issues facing queer and trans Canadians. We recently held #HillPride combining Rainbow Day on the Hill & the Pride Parliament Panel. (Read more in Daily Xtra).
Over the next weeks, we will complete and release our survey of how Senators plan to vote, so that we can focus our calling efforts on the ones who might need extra effort to understand our community’s position on why Bill C-16 is so important.
If you have any suggestions on our efforts for Bill C-16 or wish to collaborate on projects to advance Bill C-16, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(note: You can also write a letter to any Senator at: (Name of Senator), The Senate of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 04A. No postage is required on letters sent to Members of Parliament or Senators).
I’m writing to you in support of Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression). I urge you to support the Bill and pass it immediately.
Trans and gender non-binary Canadians are disproportionately at need for emergency shelter and crisis counselling, however are often turned away from services because of how they identify or present.
Recent statistics paint a grim reality for trans youth in Canada:
- 49% of trans youth have been sexually harassed—because they are trans
- 37% of trans youth have been physically harassed or assaulted because of their gender expression
- Trans youth are 8 times more likely than their peers to report a suicide attempt, and nearly 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression.
This Bill has already passed through the House of Commons with support from all parties before, and it is long overdue to move this important piece of legislation through the Senate.
Please take action to understand and support Bill C-16.
(your name, city, province or territory)