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  •  Canadian clarifications (1+ / 0-)
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    A few updates regarding Bill C-279 in Canada.

    1) The committee process was essentially fillibustered, so the committee will not be reporting back any changes.  What that means by default is that the bill will proceed to Third Reading (possibly February) without any amendments.

    2) LifeSiteNews has deliberately misquoted the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Canadian Human Rights Tribunal folks in order to make the bill sound unnecessary.  Here's Ian Fine's quotes.  See if you come to the same conclusion LSN did:

    Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Meeting 053, Tuesday, November 27, 2012


    "To answer your question, as I said at the outset, we currently accept complaints—and have forever—from transgendered individuals under the ground of sex, and sometimes under the ground of disability, and we will continue to do so. To answer your question, strictly speaking, I suppose the legislation isn't necessary, but we see other reasons why it would be important to include these two grounds under our act, and we do support them.

    "For one thing, it would provide the clarity that I think we believe is missing at this point, because as much as it's true that the commission and tribunals and courts do accept transgender issues as falling under the ground of sex, parties still debate that issue before those very tribunals and courts and question whether or not transgender issues fall under sex. In one case I know of, an issue was raised as to whether or not you could even raise the issue under sex and instead should raise it under disability.

    "There continue to be these debates, so for clarity reasons, we believe it would be a good thing to add these two grounds. Also, as I said at the outset, it would be a recognition of the discrimination that this group faces: the sometimes hostile and violent acts that this group faces in our society. So it would recognize the vulnerability of this group, of these individuals.

    "... It is true that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal certainly has held that these matters fall within the existing prohibited grounds. There's no doubt about that. Other courts and tribunals across the land have done so. As I have said, we receive complaints on transgender issues under the ground of sex and sometimes disability.

    "But the reality is that even though the courts have accepted that and we accept that, parties still go before those tribunals and courts and raise arguments about whether or not they are included. So clearly there are some Canadians who aren't in agreement with that notion, who are still fighting about it, who feel that the protection is not explicit or shouldn't be covered by one of the other grounds.

    "We're simply suggesting to add these grounds to provide more clarity to all Canadians, to make it explicit, and then there's no doubt."

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