Ottawa, ON — June 16, 2017 — The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) applauds the passing of Bill C-16, an act that adds gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.
“This is an issue of human rights,” CASW President Jan Christianson-Wood began, “this bill was overdue: we need to stand in solidarity with trans Canadians and enshrine their rights.”
Bill C-16 adds provisions to the Canadian Human Rights Act making it illegal to deny services, employment, and other rights and benefits to individuals based on their gender identity or expression within a federally regulated industry. It also protects Canadians against crimes motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression.
Simply put, Bill C-16 recognizes trans rights as human rights and will begin to address the systemic discrimination faced by trans individuals, who encounter alarming rates of hate based violence and are disproportionately impacted by mental illness.
“The enactment of Bill C-16 is a starting point,” added Christianson-Wood. “CASW will continue to advocate for true equity for trans, gender non-conforming, intersex and two spirit folks when it comes to issues of safety, access to care and services, and all social determinants of health.”
For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW
CASW Executive Director