Debates of the Senate  
2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 139
  Thursday, May 7, 2015
 
Statement: Transgender Rights in Saskatchewan
Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, on March 31, 2015, the Saskatchewan legislature in Regina raised the transgender pride flag as part of International Transgender Day of Visibility and the province's Transgender Awareness Week. Saskatchewan is the first provincial capital to raise the transgender flag at the legislature, and this signals a very positive step forward in the recognition and protection of transgender rights in Saskatchewan.

Last December, the Government of Saskatchewan passed an amendment to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity. Gender identity was added to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in Saskatchewan.

Additionally, with the backdrop of the current debate in the chamber on Bill C-279, I would also like to bring to the attention of the chamber a trend that is occurring in Saskatoon. More and more high schools across the city have been establishing their own gender-neutral bathrooms to allow students to freely express their gender identity without feeling anxiety. Instead, it creates an environment of inclusion. The purpose of these washrooms is to make sure every young person feels safe and comfortable at school at a time when they may feel anxiety over their identity.

While more can be done to protect and bolster transgender rights in Saskatchewan and in the rest of Canada, I would like to congratulate the Saskatchewan legislature and TransSask Support Services for their continued work to ensure that transgender Canadians have equal protections under the law.