Open Letter to All Senators
February 15, 2011
Ontario’s registered nurses urge you to support the passage of Bill C-389 to ensure explicit human rights protection for transgender and transsexual Canadians. The need to update the Canadian Human Rights Act to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination, and amend the Criminal Code of Canada to include gender identity and gender expression in the hate crime and sentencing provisions has become even more obvious by the pejorative language associated by those who trivialize this as “the bathroom bill.”
Transsexual and transgender people are a highly marginalized group in our society. As registered nurses, we often see the harmful impacts of stigma, discrimination, harassment, and violence that transsexual and transgender people all too often experience. These injustices prevent access to safe learning environments at school, deny employment opportunity and stability, hinder access to income security, food security, and housing, and create barriers for appropriate, inclusive health and human services.
Canada’s registered nurses passed a resolution in support of Bill C-389 at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Nurses Association on June 7, 2010.
Bill C-389 is an essential step in providing full human rights protection for one of the most marginalized groups in our society and so we urge you to support it.
With warmest regards,
Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, O.ONT David McNeil, RN, BScN, MHA, CHE
Executive Director, President,
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario