News | Senate Liberal Grant Mitchell seeks to remove 'bathroom amendment' from Bill C-279

10 March 2015

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Ottawa (March 10, 2015) – This afternoon, Senator Grant Mitchell introduced an amendment to Bill C-279 to remove the highly criticized "bathroom amendment" that was passed during committee stage.

Bill C-279 seeks to amend both the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code to include "gender identity," thereby ensuring that transgender Canadians finally have equal protection under the law. During committee study Senator Donald Plett introduced an amendment that excludes sex-specific facilities including washrooms, locker rooms and women's shelters from protection, in a direct contravention of the bill's purpose.

It is for this reason that Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, introduced an amendment to return the bill back to the form in which it was passed by the House of Commons. "We cannot allow the very act that is designed to prohibit discrimination to be amended to allow discrimination."

Bill C-279 is currently being debated at report stage in the Senate, where the Senate as a whole must either approve or reject the amendments that were passed during committee study. "If my amendment is not adopted at this stage, I intend to reintroduce it at third reading. I know that I have the support of my Senate Liberal colleagues and I urge Conservative senators to listen to the pleas of the transgender community."

The bill must return the House of Commons where the Senate amendments will be accepted or rejected. "I hope that we can move quickly and get the right version of this legislation passed," said Senator Mitchell. "Canadians believe in equal rights and it's long past time that our laws reflect that."

 

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For more information:

Kyle Johnston, Office of Senator Grant Mitchell
Kyle.Johnston@sen.parl.gc.ca

613-995-4254

 

 

Please click here to read this news release in French / Veuillez appuyer ici pour lire ce communiqué de presse en français

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