OTTAWA, June 15, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has issued the following statement:
"Our Government is very pleased that Bill C-16 was passed by the Senate today, bringing us one step closer to strengthening laws against discrimination, hate propaganda, and hate crime based on gender identity and gender expression.
"In Canada we celebrate inclusion and diversity, and all Canadians should feel safe to be themselves. Trans and gender diverse persons must be granted equal status in Canadian society, and this Bill makes that status explicit in Canadian law.
"The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that everyone can live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose. It will protect people from discrimination, hate propaganda and hate crimes. Once it receives Royal Assent, the legislation will add the grounds of gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. Gender identity and gender expression would become prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the updates to the Criminal Code would protect trans and gender diverse Canadians who are targeted because of their gender identity or expression from hate propaganda. These changes would also require a court to treat the commission of an offence that is motivated by hate based on gender identity or expression as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes.
"I would like to acknowledge the courage and the leadership of the trans community and their decades of effort to achieve equality. Their dedication, resilience and tireless advocacy for equal rights inspire me.
"Finally, I would like to thank Members of Parliament and the Senate for supporting this important piece of legislation. Diversity is our strength. I am proud of the steps we are taking to ensure that all Canadians are treated equally."
SOURCE Justice Canada, Department of
For further information: Kathleen Davis, Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor, Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 613-992-4621; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, email@example.com