Statement by the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues on Trans Day of Remembrance
Ottawa, November 20, 2018 – The special advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues, Randy Boissonnault, today issued the following statement on Trans Day of Remembrance:
“The Trans Day of Remembrance is a time to mourn lives lost through systemic violence. On this day, we pause to reflect on the abuse, hatred and discrimination that have been and continue to be directed at transgender people in Canada and around the world.
“It is important to recognize the many ways in which transgender people experience harassment and physical violence, often on a daily basis, for merely existing and daring to defy expected gender norms and expressions.
“The Government of Canada remains committed to ensuring that all individuals are treated equally. We have ensured non-binary protection in the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. We have taken action to offer non-binary options on application forms. We have defended and assisted members of marginalized communities globally.
“Despite the legislative protections that exist across Canada, transgender people remain vulnerable to discrimination in many areas of their lives -- at school, in the workplace, when seeking housing, and when accessing health services. These forms of discrimination limit their ability to live healthy lives and participate fully in their communities.
“The extent of this oppression takes a devastating toll. As a country, we must honour the incredible lives of the many transgender people we have lost. Lives lived with conviction and truth.
“We must also recognize that in the face of this oppression, transgender people contribute the best of themselves to our nation every single day. They are valued employees, irreplaceable friends, loving children, cherished siblings, partners, and parents. They are intrinsically valuable and we must repeat this message in the face of hatred.
“Across Canada today, there will be vigils. There will be the lighting of candles. There will be tears. There will be song and stories. There will be moments of silence.
“There will also be hope. Hope for greater understanding. Hope for greater respect. Hope for greater human rights for transgender individuals.
“There remain those who resist the idea of a truly inclusive and equal society. There are those who continue to hate. They are on the wrong side not only of history but of humanity.”
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