Canada introduces legislation to guarantee full legal protection to transgender people

The bill was announced to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

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A general view of the Canadian Parliament Building in Ottawa. Image: Tim Goode / EMPICS Entertainment

The Canadian government has introduced legislation to guarantee full legal protection to transgender people.

Bill C-16 was introduced by the Liberal party's justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

CBC reports Ms Wilson-Raybould said the legislation is aimed at ensuring "that Canadians will be free to identify themselves and to express their gender as they wish, while being protected against discrimination and hate.

"No-one should be refused a job, disadvantaged in the workplace, be unable to access services or be the target of harassment or violence because of their gender identity or gender expression," she added.

The bill would amend the country's Human Rights Act and criminal code. 

The legislation was introduced to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

In a statement, the country's prime minister Justin Trudeau said: “Everyone deserves to live free of stigma, persecution, and discrimination – no matter who they are or whom they love. Today is about ensuring that all people – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – feel safe and secure, and empowered to freely express themselves.

“To do its part, the Government of Canada today will introduce legislation that will help ensure transgender and other gender-diverse people can live according to their gender identity, free from discrimination, and protected from hate propaganda and hate crimes," he added.

In Ireland last year, the Gender Recognition Act introduced legal gender recognition based on self-determination for over-18s.