Celebrating Five Years of Legal Protections for Gender Identity and Gender Expression
June 17, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario — Women and Gender Equality Canada
The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today:
This Sunday, we will celebrate the progress that the Government of Canada has made to protect trans and gender diverse people. On June 19, 2017, the Governor General signed Bill C-16 into law, amending the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. The amendments established the legal authority needed to counter discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
This anniversary reminds us that for generations, trans and gender-diverse people in Canada have faced discrimination, violence, and harassment. This has prevented many from participating fully in, and contributing equally to, communities across the country. As a result, trans and gender-diverse people are among the most vulnerable groups in our society.
Since the enactment of Bill C-16, the Canadian Human Rights Act has explicitly prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. The Bill also added the phrase “gender identity or expression” to the sections of the Criminal Code related to hate propaganda and sentencing (sections 318 and 718.2, respectively).
Every person living in Canada deserves to be treated equally and with respect. Bill C-16 affirms that. Diversity is our strength, and ensuring it is preserved and valued is critical to building a more inclusive and equal society for all. On this important anniversary, and in our everyday lives, I encourage everyone to promote diversity, inclusion and equity.
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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