Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca,NDP):

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance. People in communities across Canada and around the world will gather today to remember victims of transphobic violence and to dedicate themselves to working to end discrimination against transgender, transsexual and gender-variant people.

Last year more than 265 transpeople were murdered and countless others were victims of violence and discrimination. Not only are transCanadians more likely to be victims of hate crimes, those hate crimes are more than twice as likely to be violent. This year the list of those murdered includes the tragic loss of January Marie Lapuz, a transwoman in B.C.

But in Canada we are beginning to turn this tide. Consideration of Bill C-279, which would protect transgender rights in Canada, begins in justice committee today. As well, legislation has just been introduced this morning in the Nova Scotia legislature that will add Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Manitoba as jurisdictions where transrights are explicitly protected. We should all be proud to see Canada assuming a leadership role on this issue of equal rights.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance let us continue to make progress in ensuring that in Canada transrights are human rights.