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Canada is known around the world for its openness and transparency. It’s also known for the political freedom it offers its citizens. But the government wants to tread on both those values just for the sake of more “political correctness” when it comes to the country’s small transgender community.
As the last year came to a close, the government amended the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) to take action against what it perceived as the violation of the rights of transgender individuals. The amendment in the human rights laws is nothing new. In fact, it demonstrates progress towards a more equitable world.
That’s not, however, the case here.
No Transparency On Transgender Rights
The Bill C-16, passed by the government, includes “gender identity” in the Human Rights Act as a possible ground of discrimination. It also amends the Criminal Code of Canada to protect the transgender people from “hate propaganda” based on “gender identity”.
The most alarming thing about the bill was that it was passed through secret ballot and passed largely under the radar because of the news on the US presidential election. This goes against all the Canadian values of openness and transparency when it comes to the democratic processes.
Huge Questions Surrounding The Bill
The bill was silently passed but the questions surrounding it still exist. The biggest of those questions is how does the government define gender identity exactly? And why didn’t it decide on a definition before passing a law on gender identity and expression?
And what if someone, who is biologically male or female, psychologically identifies with the opposite gender? Would calling them male or female, when they think they’re not, constitute a human rights violation? No one has a problem with offering transgender people, or any other social group, their human rights. But how did we allow the government to pass a law that considers truth as a human rights violation?
We’re still waiting for an answer.