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Federal trans rights bill in the House Feb 27


Federal trans rights bill in the House Feb 27

NDP public safety and LGBT critic Randall Garrison is hopeful Speaker Andrew Scheer will allow amendments to the federal trans rights bill, C-279, when it returns to the House Feb 27. IMAGE 1 OF 1
Garrison is hopeful Bill C-279 will pass
NDP MP Randall Garrison is optimistic his private member’s bill, C-279, will retain support from 15 Conservative MPs when it is reintroduced in the House of Commons at report stage Feb 27.
The bill aims to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to prevent discrimination against trans Canadians.
On the final day of debate at the standing committee on justice and human rights, Dec 6, a group of Conservative MPs, including Dave Anderson and Brent Rathgeber, filibustered the debate in the hope of killing the bill.
The filibustering Conservatives succeeded in using up all allotted time, thereby sending the bill back to the House unamended. Without the amendments, which include removing the term “gender expression” and adding a definition for “gender identity,” a group of 15 Conservatives, including Shelly Glover and Kerry-Lynne Findlay, will not support the bill.

Since the committee passed two amendments before time ran out, Garrison says it was obviously in favour of the amended bill.

“We should have had time to deal with the rest, and that was prevented only by the filibuster,” he says.

Garrison submitted a package of amendments, which include the needed compromises, Feb 7.
If Speaker Andrew Scheer confirms the amendments are in order, the bill can be debated and voted on in the House.
Garrison says he knows the majority of trans Canadians would like to see “gender expression” included in the bill, but they must understand the effect a Conservative majority government has on a private member’s bill.
“No one is excited to have to compromise to get it through,” he says. “But we have managed to find enough sympathetic Conservatives to get a meaningful bill through the House, and I think that’s what’s important.”
Susan Gapka, outgoing chair of Ontario’s Trans Lobby Group, says Garrison should be applauded for his tenacity.
Gapka was instrumental in the passage of Toby’s Act, Ontario’s trans rights bill, which includes both “gender expression” and “gender identity.”
Although Gapka is puzzled as to why “gender expression” is too controversial to be included at the federal level, she says trans people need to be protected, period.
“We need to protect people on the grounds of gender identity,” she says. “We need to do that -- not tomorrow, not today, but yesterday. That’s why this bill has our full support.”
Gapka adds that “gender expression” can be added to the bill in the future under a different party’s government.
“We would never want to see the weekend crossdresser, drag queen or drag king lose their employment, be denied service or be thrown out of their housing because of that. That would be wrong,” Gapka says, regarding members of the trans community who rely on the term “gender expression.”
Amanda Ryan, of Ottawa trans support group Gender Mosaic, who called the actions of the filibustering Conservative MPs “blatant discrimination,” would also prefer that “gender expression” remain in the bill but concedes that the bill with only “gender identity” should still be passed.
Gapka and Ryan encourage supporters to contact their MPs to facilitate the bill’s passage.
“When they know there are trans people and supporters in their community, that helps educate them,” Gapka says.
Feb 10 marks the second anniversary of Bill C-389, C-279’s predecessor, achieving consent at second reading. The similar bill then died on the table due to an impending election.  
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do lawyers have anything to do with the bill of rights? like any of the lawyers in newfoundland have stuff to do in their country?
It's never about what we do... it's about what we
It's never about what we do... it's about what we can inspire others to do. Like 2Pac said.
It's how it was when I first started as the first
It's never about what we do... it's about what we can inspire others to do. Like 2Pac said.
call us all
nothing personal against Gapka. i admire her energy. but i think she's fighting for the wrong cause. and yes, Xtra should call me. they should call Mercedes in Alberta, Mikila in Saskatchewan, etc.. so many more stories here not being told.
Well, ohplease, why *don’t* they call McCreath?
Are you seriously suggesting that Xtra does not endless call upon the same sources – many in its direct employ – again and again?
Bitter much?
Ms. McCreath, your Susan Gapka bashing has just got to stop. Ms. Gapka is an activist that has fought tirelessly, putting herself in the spotlight, lobbying in person at Queen's Park, in Ottawa and throughout our communities here in Toronto, fighting for our human rights. She has been working at this for years and her expertise and knowledge is unsurpassed (whether you agree with all of her political bents, or not). All some community members want to do lately is tear her (and others) down. We need to work together to create change. Working together sometimes means putting some of our differences aside for the greater cause.
Also, when you stated "i really wish Xtra would interview more than just Susan Gapka when they write trans articles "--and judging from other posts you've made on Xtra--I think what you truly meant to say is "why don't you call ME". Your need for taking someone else down--be it an organization or individual--to build yourself up is distasteful.
Susan Gapka, thank you for all of your hard work.
Gapka is Right?
Sorry Chris but I completely disagree. Leaving a hole to be fixed later is not a solution. It is akin to getting your car repaired and told that the new parts to make it run will come later. Without GE in this bill, every person who is in the process of transition along with transgenderists and CD's are tossed under the bus and that is completely unacceptable! Since when are human rights negotiable in any context? Of all people, I would expect you would be the one to understand this, and the same holds true for Susan.
Gapka is right
Susan Gapka is right. In the circumstances, it's a good strategy to get what you can now, and the rest later. The history of LGBT rights has been a history of incremental change: we gain legal rights bit by bit. In contrast, people who want "all or nothing", usually get nothing.
Typical response from trannies to legislation
“Do exactly what we say or do nothing,” even though we previously insisted we urgently needed legislation and this particular bill merely restates existing precedent. They pulled the same shit with Barney Frank.


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