Federal trans bill passes Senate committee

C-279 now goes to third reading unamended

Federal trans rights bill C-279 was adopted unamended at a Senate committee on human rights meeting June 10.

The bill aims to add gender identity to the list of grounds protected from discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Witnesses who testified include Rebecca J Bromwich and Robert Peterson, with the Canadian Bar Association; Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of the equality program of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Susheel Gupta, acting chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; N Nicole Nussbaum, president elect of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health; and Sara Davis Buechner, of the University of British Columbia.

Diane Watts, of REAL Women of Canada, also appeared as a witness.

In November, Watts testified against the bill at the parliamentary standing committee on justice and human rights, saying that if the bill passed children would be put at risk by pedophiles using the bill to their advantage.

The bill’s originator, NDP MP Randall Garrison, called Watts’s testimony “offensive.”

The bill will now go to third reading in the Senate. If it passes third reading, it will then require royal assent before becoming law.

C-279’s Senate sponsor, Senator Grant Mitchell, is hopeful the bill will pass third reading. He told Xtra last month that he has confirmation from 16 Conservative senators that they will vote in favour of the bill.

“But you don’t know until you actually get there. If all 16 voted with us, then it would pass. It would be a little bit close, but it would pass,” Mitchell said at Ottawa trans support group Gender Mosaic’s 25th anniversary reception, May 29.

Xtra is following this story.

Algonquin College journalism grad. Podcaster @qqcpod.

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