Transgender rights bill: Conservatives might retain majority in the Canadian Senate?

Please say it ain’t so . . .

A column by Rob Salerno on the Daily Xtra site has a tidbit of information that could be almost devastating for some transgender people in Canada.

Reports Rob: “Trudeau also told Daily Xtra that a Liberal government would bring forward legislation to include trans people in the Canadian Human Rights Act and in the hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code. This may prove tricky as any new legislation would have to pass through the Senate, which blocked the legislation in the last Parliament. Trudeau will be able to appoint 22 new senators upon taking office, but that will still leave him shy of a majority. He’ll need to be certain that the Senate doesn’t block the legislation before introducing it in Parliament.”

WTF!!?

— Jillian Page

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6 thoughts on “Transgender rights bill: Conservatives might retain majority in the Canadian Senate?”

  1. The Senate is very, very unlikely to override the will of the House of Commons. What sank the last attempt was delaying tactics until the dissolution of the government. If Trudeau’s government introduces a similar bill within the first 18 months or so of its mandate and it passes in the House of Commons, it’s very unlikely the Senate would be able to delay it long enough to have it die, and extremely unlikely that the Senate would actually kill it.

    So the ball is in the Liberals’ court…

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  2. You said, “a tidbit of information that could be almost devastating for some transgender people in Canada.” I don’t see devastating here. Do you mean devastating that the Trudeau government will introduce a gender identity bill? Or devastating “that the Senate usually doesn’t block bills that have been introduced by the government (as opposed to a private member’s bill).”? I also don’t understand your incredulity by finishing with “WTF?”

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    1. Gee, if I thought it was that difficult to understand, I would have elaborated. So, here goes . . .

      Many trans people and their supporters — and even a Liberal senator or two — felt that the election of a Liberal government would guarantee passage of a trans rights bill in the new Parliament and the Senate.

      Now, Rob Salerno is casting doubt on that with his comment that it will still be tricky getting it through the Senate.

      That is why I said “WTF!!?” As in, everyone said it would be easy, but now Rob is saying it still won’t be so easy.

      That’s it. If it is still unclear, I will delete the post altogether.

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      1. I think we need to talk to Rob Salerno and find out why he thinks that. My biggest fear is that someone like Plett will take it upon himself to delay the bill.

        I’m glad we are on the same page. We will get this bill through.

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  3. I do not understand what is devastating about this? Are you against the Trudeau government introducing Trans protections into the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code? It looks to me, until I see the new bill itself, like Trudeau is going to follow through with what C-279 was intended to do. We may even see Gender Expression included. As to the Senate, I have lobbied many Conservative Senators for C-279. Even before adding the 22 new Senators there was enough support among Conservative Senators to pass the bill. It was not the Senate that blocked the bill but a very small handful of Conservative Senators who, in my opinion, were acting on instructions from PM Harper to stop the bill. Will they do that again? I suspect that the opponents of the bill will be reluctant to do that again given the severe backlash from the Canadian public after Plett’s horrible “Bathroom Amendment”. So let’s give this a try. I am far more optimistic about getting our Trans Protections this time than I was under Harper’s reign.

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    1. Re: “Are you against the Trudeau government introducing Trans protections into the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code?”

      I don’t understand why you would ask me such a question.

      I was passing along Rob Salerno’s comment: he is suggesting that Trudeau might have a hard time getting it passed. If you disagree with what he is saying, take it up with him on his site by leaving a comment there.

      As for the Senate, a political analyst told me just moments ago that Trudeau is unlikely to name any senators to the Senate, and that the Senate usually doesn’t block bills that have been introduced by the government (as opposed to a private member’s bill).

      However, Rob Salerno seems to think it might be a tough sell.

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