Letter to Bill Siksay on Bill C-326 and Bill C-494, April 17, 2008
April 17, 2008
Room 124, Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
I am writing to support your private member's bills (Bill C-326 and Bill C-494), to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (respectively) to include gender identity and gender expression.
Our union has been a strong supporter of gay and lesbian rights over the years, and more recently we have become active allies for our trans members. We know that their daily experiences in our workplaces can be extremely difficult, challenging, and too often, unsafe.
Our collective agreement language on non-discrimination and anti-harassment follows the prohibited grounds set out in the Human Rights Act, and in addition we are introducing gender expression / identity in our negotiations, to ensure that specific acknowledgment is given to the realities faced by our trans members. We have been, and will be successful in our negotiations with many employers, but as with same-sex benefits, a change in the law will be what ultimately moves the more recalcitrant employers.
I am enclosing a copy of our recent publication "To Our Allies: Everything you ever wanted to know about lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues. well, maybe not everything", as an example of some of our recent educational outreach to our members and leaders.
Thank you for your leadership on this issue.
Basil 'Buzz' Hargrove
cc: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister
Hon. Jack Layton, Leader NDP
Gilles Duceppe, Leader Bloc Quebecois
Hon. Stephane Dion, Leader of the Opposition
Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice
Joe Comartin, NDP Justice Critic
Real Menard, BQ Justice Critic
Dominic LeBlanc, Liberal Justice Critic
Carol Phillips, CAW Assistant to the President, Raj Dhaliwal, CAW Director Human Rights,
Sue Carter, CAW National Representative