New federal protections for transgender Canadians are about to become law after a strong show of support for the landmark legislation in the Red Chamber.
Sixty-seven of the 81 senators in attendance voted in favour of Bill C-16 Thursday evening, finally disposing of a bill that has been before Parliament for more than a year. The legislation overwhemlingly passed the House of Commons last November, and now awaits royal assent.
The bill updates the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include the terms “gender identity” and “gender expression.” The legislation also makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms, and make it a hate crime to target someone for being transgender.
Critically, the bill also amends the sentencing principles section of the code so that a person’s gender identity or expression can be considered an aggravating circumstance by …