Thursday, February 10, 2011

Canada's Bill C-389 Update IX-It Passed The House!

History was made in the House of Commons yesterday as Bill C-389 passed it's Third Reading vote by a 143-135 margin..

“I’m just very relieved,” says NDP MP Bill Siksay, in the wake of the vote. “I’ve been a basket case all day worrying about the numbers, and it was very close. We didn’t have an accurate count, because we didn’t have that kind of lobby, unfortunately. I was on tenterhooks right until the clerk announced the result.”

The entire NDP and Bloc Quebecois caucuses voted for C-389, five Liberals abstained and seven voted against. Six Conservatives voted for the bill, including four cabinet ministers, while one minister abstained.

While thre's justifiable celebration going on in the Canadian trans community right now, it's only halfway through the legislative process on the Great White North as the bill now moves on to the Canadian Senate.

“Today’s vote represents a significant step toward explicitly recognizing and affirming the equality-rights of trans Canadians,” declared Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. “For too long, social and political invisibility have enabled discrimination, harassment and hate-motivated violence against the trans community to continue unnoticed and unchallenged.”

 As a private member's bill, it requires a Senate sponsor, and no one has stepped up to the plate to do so as of yet.  We also have to watch for the recent pattern of the Senate being used by the Conservatives to spike legislation they failed to kill in the House due to their minority government status. .

If an election is called, it will also kill whatever progress is being made on Bill C-389 as well.

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