EGALE Tracks C-389 Through Senate

Posted on February 16, 2011 by

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UPDATE: I called the Parliament Office of Noel Kinsella, Senator for Fredericton-York-Sunbury. Kinsella is also Speaker of the Senate. His Secretary referred me to the Secretary for Senate Committees. I asked when C-389 would come up for Second Reading. The Secretary reported what I had already found on the Senate website. She said that it would not be voted on today, and that the next chance for a vote would be in two weeks: as early as Feb. 28, more likely March 1, 2, or 3. There is no Senate sponsor for this bill as yet.

UPDATE: It appears that once again C-389 is on listed on the Senate’s “Order Paper and Notice Paper” under “Other Business/Commons Public Bills”; but it is not on the Senate Agenda for 17 Feb. 2011. If it is not heard today, it will not likely be voted on until March 1.

UPDATE: It appears that C-389 is not on the Senate agenda for vote or consideration Wed., 16 Feb. It may be on the Senate agenda for tomorrow, Thurs. 17, Feb. Check the daily Legislation Agenda to see if it gets on the Agenda tomorrow. If it doesn’t go to a vote tomorrow, the next scheduled sitting of the Senate is possibly Feb. 28 or March 1, 2011.

UPDATE: According to the “Orders Paper and Notice Paper” on the Parliament’s own website, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Second Reading for C-389 today, Wednesday, 16 February, 2011. It is scheduled to take place after 1:30 PM this afternoon. We will update you immediately once we know that the vote has taken place and the outcome.

-Shaun Bartone, FQ Editor

C-389 moved quickly through first reading in the Senate on Thursday, February 10, 2011, and is now scheduled for second reading as early as Tuesday, February 15. While the speed at which this bill is moving forward is encouraging, it still needs to pass through committee and second and third readings in the Senate before it becomes law. If this doesn’t happen before an election is called, likely in March, the bill instantly dies on the Order Paper, effectively hitting the restart button and requiring it to be re-introduced from the very beginning of the legislative process in the next Parliament.

The looming election, complete with its inevitable gamesmanship, renders palpable the need for immediate and concerted action in support of C-389. Call or email your senators today! A template email is including below, and current contact information is available here. Be sure to include Egale in your correspondence by copying C389@egale.ca on your email.

Bill C-389 is an incredibly important initiative. If passed, the bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) to include “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination. It would also add crimes motivated by transphobia to the list of crimes treated by the Criminal Code as potential hate crimes. This kind of explicit reference within the CHRA would afford transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, intersex, gender-queer, gender non-conforming and gender-open individuals clearer protection against discrimination and help create a safer Canada for all of us.

Before speaking with your senator, it may be helpful to review the “8 Myths Around C-389,” delivered by the Hon. Marlene Jennings, P.C., M.P., during third reading in the House of Commons. Ce document, « 8 mythes autour de C-389 » est aussi disponible en français.

Draft letter to senators:

[Insert Date]

The Honourable
[Insert Name Here], Senator
The Senate of Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A4

Dear Senator [Surname],

I am writing to you in support of Bill C-389, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and theCriminal Code (gender identity and gender expression). I would like to stress the importance of including “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), and as relevant factors in hate crimes sentencing under the Criminal Code.

This bill is an important step toward explicitly recognizing and affirming the equality-rights of trans Canadians. For too long, social and political invisibility have enabled discrimination, harassment and hate-motivated violence against the trans community to continue unnoticed and unchallenged. Bill C-389 is essential for ending this terrible trend.

When voting on C-389 in the Senate, I encourage you to strongly consider your responsibilities to the many transgender, transsexual, cross-dresser, intersex, gender-queer, gender non-conforming, and gender-open individuals in your own province and throughout the country.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]
[Your Address Info Here]

C-389 Moves on to the Senate

Toronto: Bill C-389, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression), passed third reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. It now moves on to the Senate, and with an election looming, it is extremely important that all Canadians who stand opposed to discrimination, harassment and hate-motivated violence based on gender identity and gender expression call or email their province or territory’s senators today.

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