Rogers to Minister of Justice: examples exist to include gender identity in Human Rights Act
NDP MHA Gerry Rogers (St. John’s Centre) is continuing her push to have gender identity included in the province’s Human Rights Code.
On Wednesday, May 23, a Bill was introduced in the Manitoba legislature that would amend that province’s Human Rights Code to include gender identity as grounds for discrimination. This affects services in housing, employment and health.
“There is absolutely no reason why our government cannot amend our Human Rights Code to include gender identity as a ground for discrimination,” said Rogers. “Manitoba has now joined Ontario and the Northwest Territories, along with the United Nations. All those jurisdictions have all been able to complete this piece of very important work.”
In 2010, the Canadian Bar Association Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on provincial and territorial governments to better protect transgender individuals by amending their human rights laws. “Transgender folks are among the most vulnerable, maligned, bullied and misunderstood people in society,” says Rogers.
“Government has said they are ‘confused’ about this issue, so I assume this is why they have failed to fulfill this promise,” said Rogers. “If they need help, I’d gladly meet with the minister or sit on an all-party standing committee. Other jurisdictions have been able to include gender identity in their Human Rights Codes and there is absolutely no reason why we can’t do the same in this province.
“In a modern democratic society, it is indefensible to not make these changes. We should just do it and move on,” said Rogers.