Oh, Canada! Our progressive and tolerant land.
The federal government yesterday announced plans to move towards new legislation that protects the rights of transgender people.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the need for equality while speaking in Montreal on Monday, where he collected the Laurent McCutcheon Award for commitment to fighting homophobia and transphobia.
“I am proud to announce that tomorrow, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we will be tabling a bill in the House of Commons to ensure the full protection of transgender people,” said the Prime Minister.
Although Trudeau did not specify the details of the bill, it is believed to amend the criminal code – specifically, to make it a hate crime to attack someone for their gender identity.
It would also include transgender people in Canada’s Human Rights act and even align laws across provinces to ensure equality from coast to coast.
But Trudeau – who will be the first Prime Minister to march at Gay Pride – is not the first Member of Parliament to try to secure protections for transgender Canadians.
Former NDP MP Bill Siksay tried to introduce a bill to protect gender identity as early as 2004 and up until 2010, and fellow MP Randall Garrison proposed trans-rights bills that died twice before they could be passed as law.
The government will hope that the Liberal-dominant senate will be able to pass the bill and continue the quest to protect the rights of every individual.
After all, it is 2016.
More details will be announced later today.