Bill Siksay on SRS, and the debates on drug policy

Today, NDP MP Bill Siskay put out a press release regarding his motion to see that the Canada Health Act covers Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS

Today New Democrat Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual Critic Bill Siksay (MP, Burnaby-Douglas) has tabled a motion in the House of Commons which calls on the government to ensure full health care coverage for Canadians who seek Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS).

“Sex Reassignment Surgery is a medically necessary procedure that must be available to members of the transgender and transsexual community. SRS is not a frill nor is it an elective process but rather it’s a necessity for the health, happiness and well-being of some Canadians,” said Siksay. “As a medically necessary procedure, it and its related therapies must be fully covered under the provisions of the Canada Health Act”

“The Canada Health Act’s comprehensiveness and accessibility guarantees should ensure that trans Canadians have access to appropriate health care, and that they are not forced to pay out of their own pockets for this procedure. The federal government must ensure the meaningful application of the Canada Health Act when provinces de-list medically necessary procedures like SRS,” concluded Judy Wasylycia-Leis, New Democrat Health Critic.

Siksay also recently wrote to Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq on this issue.

Siksay’s motion reads as follows:

M-394 — That, in the opinion of the House, the de-listing of medicare coverage for medically necessary sex reassignment surgery (SRS), and related therapies, violates the accessibility and comprehensiveness criteria of the Canada Health Act, and the government should take immediate steps to ensure appropriate health care is accessible across Canada to transsexual and transgender persons.

Yesterday, the House also debated on the report stage of Bill C-15, which would impose mandatory minimum sentances on certain drug-related crimes and would increase the penalties for pot production. Libby Davies was the first to speak on the proposed amendment (read it here), and comments were also made by the Bloc’s Réal Ménard (read here), as well as Siksay (read here).

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