Legislative Update – Amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code will create protections based on gender identity or expression
On May 17, 2016, Bill C 16 – An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code passed first reading in the Senate. The federal Bill proposes amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which seeks to extend equal opportunities in employment and provision of services, without hindrance from discriminatory practices based on prohibited grounds. The proposed amendments would see the inclusion of “gender identity or expression” as a further prohibited ground. Gender identity is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as being each person’s internal sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.