TORONTO – By sending Bill C-279 back to the House of Commons instead of passing it, Conservative senators have taken an inexcusable stand against equality and human rights, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“This is transphobia, plain and simple,” said Hahn. “The Senate had an opportunity to support this important step forward for human rights, but instead the Conservatives decided to turn their backs.”
Bill C-279 was introduced to the House of Commons by NDP MP Randall Garrison, and amends the Criminal Code and Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity provisions. The bill passed in the House of Commons nearly two years ago, but was stalled by Conservatives in the Senate. This week, Conservative Senator Don Plett introduced amendments including one that exempts prisons, crisis centres, public washrooms and other places from the bill’s provisions.
“We’re well into the 21st century. Surely all parties can agree that fundamental human rights should apply to all people. I am angry and saddened that Conservative senators don’t agree,” said Hahn. “I applaud the work of activists in the trans community and MP Randall Garrison and the NDP for their leadership in championing trans rights. The NDP has shown the kind of government Canadians could have, and which we all deserve.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.
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