Vancouver council to vote on support for Canadian transgender rights bill C-389
Vancouver city council could throw its support behind a private member’s bill that would protect transgender people in Canada from discrimination.
Coalition of Progressive Electors councillor Ellen Woodsworth has put a motion on the agenda for council’s meeting on Tuesday (November 16).
Her motion asks the city to support Bill C-389 and to call on members of Parliament to recognize it as a “necessary measure to ensure the health and well-being of the citizens and residents of Canada”.
Introduced last year in the House of Commons by Bill Siksay, the NDP MP for Burnaby-Douglas, the bill would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Currently, the act protects people on the basis of “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted”.
Bill C-389 passed second reading in June.
On November 2, the standing committee on justice and human rights voted 9-2 to send the bill back to the House of Commons without amendment.
Conservative MPs Brent Rathgeber (Edmonton-St. Albert) and Stephen Woodworth (Kitchener Centre) voted against the bill in committee.
The bill must clear third reading and then gain Senate approval and royal assent to become law.
According to a November 3 press release from Siksay—who is his party’s critic for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues—the “next step” could come in December.
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