TORONTO, Ont. – Trans-activists, including a CUPE Ontario member whose human rights were violated, are celebrating the reinstatement of sex reassignment surgery under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan announced yesterday by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
“It’s a wonderful thing to finally see the fruits of your labour after years of fighting,” said trans-activist Martine Stonehouse, a member of CUPE Local 4400 at the Toronto District School Board, and CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee.
Stonehouse, along with three other transgendered activists, took the Ministry of Health to the Human Rights Commission, which found that their human rights were violated. The government was ordered to make restitution to the complainants in different ways, with Stonehouse winning the cost of her surgery.
“From the beginning, my goal was to not only address my personal situation but to have sex reassignment surgery reinstated as a medical procedure paid for by the provincial health plan,” said Stonehouse. She is celebrating along with other activists from the transgendered communities who have engaged in a long lobby effort for reinstatement of the procedure.
“Slowly, we are seeing the reversal of some of the mean-spirited policies of the Harris years,” said Fred Hahn, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario and past co-chair of the union’s Pink Triangle Committee. “I’m so proud that our members took the unanimous decision to support Martine and all of our transgendered members by assisting with financial support for her human rights challenge. Our members understand that an attempt to divide us based on human rights issues and medical procedures just isn’t right. Medical procedures – all of them – should be covered under our publicly funded provincial health plan.”
For more information, contact:
Fred Hahn, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer: 416-540-3979
Martine Stonehouse , CUPE Ontario Pink Triangle Committee: 647-223-1931