CUPE transgender activists were pleased with reports that Ontario’s health care program would once again cover sex reassignment surgery.
“I’m very excited about this announcement,” said CUPE National Pink Triangle Committee member Martine Stonehouse. “It comes at a time when we had basically given up on this Government and its long list of broken promises.”
Stonehouse, a CUPE 4400 member, was one of three people who took the province to court of its decision to de-list sex reassignment surgery.
A human rights tribunal ruled in Nov. 2005 that the province should pay for the three complainants’ surgery because they began the procedure before the Harris government de-listed the service in 1998.
Tribunal vice-chair Mary Ross Hendriks wrote that the decision to de-list the procedure had no medical justification and contradicted the government’s own advice.
But the ruling stopped short of ordering the government to re-list sex reassignment as insured service.
Stonehouse cautionned that there were still many issues outstanding for transexual and transgendered people.
And the government’s announcement itself doesn’t set out details for how and when the procedure will be re-listed.
“But we have opened the door,” Stonehouse said. “Now is the time to celebrate, tomorrow we will carry on our fight for equality.”