I wish to publicly thank our member of Parliament John Duncan for choosing to protect the human rights of people who are transgendered.
Transgendered people are one of the most marginalized groups in Canada. Research from Ontario has shown that the 43 per cent of transgendered individuals will attempt suicide during their lifetime.
Only 3.5 per cent of Canadians will attempt suicide in their lifetime. While 71 per cent of trans people in Ontario have at least some college or university, 53 per cent Ontarian trans people live on less than $15,000 a year.
The slaying of January Marie Lapuz, stabbed to death in New Westminster on Sept. 29, 2012, is only the most recent murder of a trans person in Canada.
John Baillie Leader of the Progressive Conservative party of Nova Scotia, announcing his support for the Nova Scotian Transgender Person Protection Act in the Nova Scotia legislature, paraphrased the words of John F. Kennedy, saying, “That as long as the rights of one citizen are denied, the rights of all citizens are diminished.”
If one Canadian does not share in the in equal rights and protection from discrimination then none of us is truly free and none of us can be truly prosperous.
Bill C-279 passed third reading in the House Commons on March 20 with a vote of 149-137. Besides John Duncan, 17 other Conservatives, including four minsters; John Baird, Jim Flaherty, James Moore and Lisa Raitt, voted in favour.
It was good see to the full support of the other parties in the House of Commons. The last attempt to implement the same legislation bill C-389 resulted in nine federal liberals MP voting against human rights.
Bill C-279 will add gender identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the hate law provisions of the Criminal Code. The bill is now before the senate prior to becoming law in Canada.
Of course, a huge thank you to Randall Garrison of the NDP party of Canada for his work in getting Bill C-279 before the House of Commons and through third reading in the first place.
I expect Adrian Dix to fulfill his promise to add gender identity and gender expression to the BC Human Rights Code after the next election.