Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today we mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance, remembering those who have died in the past year because of the discrimination and violence many transgender members of our community face daily. It’s a startling statistic that the majority of people who identify as transgender are survivors of sexualized violence, and more than 1 in 3 of that group will attempt suicide as a result. Discriminated against in the street, refused medical treatment, victims of violence and hate crimes, the people we remember today were made more vulnerable simply because of who they were.

That’s why today I want to recognize the multi-year work of my colleague, Randall Garrison, the MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, in advancing Bill C-279, a bill that would take the simple and powerful step of amending the Human Rights Act to include gender identity as a prohibited grounds for discrimination. Pushing that bill this far has been a uphill struggle slowed by opposition, elections, and prorogued parliaments, but we’re going to get it done. 

I also want to recognize the work of local organizations like the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre’s Trans* Accessibility project. To our friends at VWSAC, Randall and I will continue to do whatever we can to support the valuable work you’re doing. And to transgender members of our community, know that we and the rest of the New Democrat team are going to continue to work, here and in Ottawa, to build a safer and more inclusive community.