Bill C-16, the federal trans rights bill, passed in the Senate today with a vote of 67-11.
This bill calls for the Canadian Human Rights Act to be amended by adding gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, which currently includes colour, sex and sexual orientation, among others.
In an interview earlier this week, bill sponsor Senator Grant Mitchell called Bill C-16 one of the most significant things he’s been a part of in his career. Senator Donald Plett, an outspoken critic of the bill, was one of the 11 who voted against it. Three senators abstained from voting.
Although provincial legislation is already in place, it doesn’t impact the Canada’s Criminal Code as this bill will.
Local trans activist Jessica Durling calls it a “huge deal.”
“It’s amazing. Now trans people will be protected by federal law,” she says. “We stood together as a community. Our allies stood together. Voices were heard.”