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New provincial policy to protect transgender rights

Monday, April 14, 2014   by: Staff



TORONTO - The Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched a new policy to help protect the rights of trans individuals and people of diverse genders.

The Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression looks at how to remove barriers and eliminate discrimination.

Trans people come from all walks of life.

They are one of the most disadvantaged groups in society and routinely experience prejudice, discrimination, harassment, hatred and even violence.

The new Policy makes clear the protections under Ontario's Human Rights Code and can help organizations put practices in place to prevent many of these experiences from occurring.

"It has been a long struggle to have these rights clearly protected in the Code. Adding these grounds makes it clear that trans people are entitled to the same legal protections as other groups under the Code. The challenge now is to send a message across Ontario that discriminating against or harassing people because of their gender identity or gender expression is against the law. This Policy provides the tools to do this," said Barbara Hall, OHRC Chief Commissioner.

The OHRC's initial Policy, created in 2000, was revised following the Code amendments and after consultation with the trans community, healthcare workers, housing providers, social service organizations, educators, and extensive research.

The Policy addresses current issues around recognizing lived gender identity, changing identity on official documents, transitioning, dress codes and accessing facilities.

It provides tools, practical scenarios and information that can be applied to everyday situations that trans people face in housing, at work or when accessing services.

The Policy offers organizations the tools to remove barriers and respect human rights, as well as:

  • clarification of terminology
  • information on key issues affecting the community in employment, education, services and the justice system
  • review of case law and clarity on rights and obligations
  • guidelines on how to meet the needs of trans persons and people of diverse genders, including best practices checklist



Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Frio 4/14/2014 10:55:40 AM Report

Does this mean they will have to be provided with their own bathroom in public buildings and workplaces now, or just a designated stall?
hog.rider 4/14/2014 11:15:41 AM Report

No frio

It means that they will be treated just like you and I and will be able to go into the bathroom of their choice! It's high time this happened and clearly more education and awareness training needs to happen. Look out sootoday the comments ate about to get ugly I'm sure. Hey mayor the rainbow flag!!
sooperman 4/14/2014 11:45:53 AM Report

first off, I'm sure this comment section will close soon as we couldn't comment on ms. Jacobs trial this is to hotter topic.. we have a Canadian human charter of rights which appiles to every citizen of this country..why do certain groups of ppl need to recognized all the time with rights for this and that.(parades, flags,visible whatever...) pay your taxes, have some worth to society and wat you do behind close doors is your business
bulletcards 4/14/2014 11:49:05 AM Report

hog, please don't bring up the stupid flag thing again. this article had nothing to do with any type of flag. you are just trying to spark something again. I guess this might too, but ohh well.
hog.rider 4/14/2014 12:07:04 PM Report

Charter of rights may have protected people in theory but in practice it did not. As for behind closed doors...we are not talking about that, we are talking about the right to live your life as the gender you feel you are and to express that free from discrimination and without society imposed "dress codes". The notion of "behind closed doors" is exactly the kind of hate talk that the human rights folks are referring to. If you don't understand the issue do some research. As for the flag it actually does pertain to this, city hall has flags that celebrate people's culture...who they really there is no logical reason not to allow that flag to be flown. There should be no controversy involved.....gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgendered people exist and have the same rights in this country as the rest of us...there's no debate it is a fact
Nunavut 4/14/2014 12:22:39 PM Report

get serious hog.....those flags all represent "countries"....not religions or groups of similar thnking people.
The Steelworker or legion don't expect a flag to be flown along side the other country flags,

as for the transgender.....then lets all pay for a third washroom, for the one in a million people that are confused as to who they are. I know I would not want by my teenage daughter followed into a bathroom by some guy that is not yet a "women". Its just not right!
hog.rider 4/14/2014 12:30:45 PM Report in a million???? Lol too funny you clearly have no idea how many people are transgendered, many have been too ashamed to be open because of people like you. The changes to the human rights code will allow them to "come out". They are not dangerous people and hopefully your daughter will be more open minded than you...statistically a male child is at greater risk being in the men's bathroom than your daughter would be if a transgendered person was in the woman's washroom. Gender identity "confusion" can happen at a very early age and many young people choose suicide because they fear what will happen if they tell their family. It's really very sad, who knows maybe your daughter or someone else you love struggles with this and naturally won't be able to talk to you because you are closed minded and ignorant
Nunavut 4/14/2014 12:33:25 PM Report

I raised my children not to be confused , and they are raising theirs that way too.........its a choice , a bad choice, don't chose it.
ranny 4/14/2014 12:33:32 PM Report

@hig The flags are respecting country/nations, not your sexuality. You are welcome to fly the flag on your own property if it makes you feel better. :)
Nunavut 4/14/2014 12:36:35 PM Report

As for tolerance.... did you know that the word tolerance in engineering circles eg machine shops ...means how much error your willing to put up with....unfortunately our left wing world is putting up with lots of error these days.
nobodycares 4/14/2014 12:38:52 PM Report

I was just wondering how you tell the diffence between some-one who is transgender in the girls washroom or a Pervert in the girls washroom. Would this mean that any man can use any ladies washroom. Therefore would you have to install urinals or have stalls only. Just wondering
hog.rider 4/14/2014 12:52:15 PM Report


No you are raising your children to be ignorant and it's not a choice...people are born who they are. Why would anyone "choose" to be treated this way, it would be much easier not to be threatened harassed bullied etc. Again try educating yourself before making comments. Also the word "tolerance" is actually no longer an acceptable term when in comes to culture, religion, gender etc. So you are actually on the right track with your is not about tolerating it is about treating all people equally. There is no point in arguing with you I realize as I will never change your mind and it's a law so it doesn't matter what you believe!! Lol you get to live with it! Ha and you actually don't know how your children or your loved ones feel you only hear what they tell you and you're ignorant so maybe they don't tell you anything

Nobody cares
To answer your question, I believe the human rights site has literature that can hemp you adjust to this law. You can always ask them. Children have been attacked molested and abducted in many public places for years and years before this law came into affect, that's not going to change. But it is certainly one of the straws people grasp at as an argument against equal treatment as it allows people to be in support of continued oppression under the guise that they are protecting the children
Brietsy 4/14/2014 12:52:23 PM Report

people are people.

I figure it's kinda discrimination to make a big thing about it. if a guy feels that he's a woman on the inside, and decides to dress it, alright. whatever.

Having parades, and huge open forums etc. is treating them differently from average people. who, in most cases, they are.

I agree that some details should be hammered out, for example, what bathroom do they use, or whatever, but mostly, just let them be people.
Nunavut 4/14/2014 1:03:26 PM Report

Actually there is no genetic proof whatosever that the rainbow choice people are born that way......a fact glossed over consistently. ....and your right laws don't change minds , never will......but God might.
edz 4/14/2014 1:10:55 PM Report

oh evolution why have you forsaken us.
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 1:15:54 PM Report


Clearly your only knowledge of genetics came from Creationsim 101, which is too bad.

There are MANY sex linked genetic disorders and several that result in some thing other than XX or XY
Brietsy 4/14/2014 1:19:37 PM Report

At this point, does it really matter if it's a choice or genetic? What matters is that there's a group of people who feel that they are the wrong gender. I figure, as long as their rights don't infringe on mine, who really cares?
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 1:20:05 PM Report

hog.rider, nice of you to tell is what is and is not acceptable vocabulary and also to equate what is legal with what is moral. We can just "deal with it" if what is legal contradicts with natural law, eh?

Let me guess -- you self identify as a "liberal"?
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 1:38:03 PM Report

It matters to me, brietsy when part of "their" argument has always been "it's not a choice". To recognize that there is choice and then to give them greater legal rights than those without choice and are at least equally discriminated against (fat ppl, ugly ppl, red heads, natives, etc.) hardly makes sense to me.

Employers discriminate against ppl that have face tats and 20+ visible piercings not only because they find it unattractive (again, discrimination against "ugly" ppl who have no extra rights) but because it is viewed as exercising poor judgment. If my son wore a quilt to school tomorrow I would also view that as exercising poor judgement but would be unbothered by such a choice. What's the difference (if it is a case of choice)?

When you have people like hog.rider essentially telling me what terms I am allowed to use to describe those of the LGBTQAAxxxx community it does start to infringe on my rights when it becomes my legal responsibility to censor myself (or face lawsuit) even though there is zero hatred or violence on my end.
Lynds 4/14/2014 2:00:41 PM Report


I'm glad you are claiming scientific proof for some things that "prove" your point (by the way, there are many studies showing the proof of being "born that way") but then claim belief in God. Please provide scientific proof for this, since it's the central argument in what I'm sure is your dislike for the LGBTQ community.
steelworker 4/14/2014 2:06:08 PM Report

Maybe I can proudly fly my flag at City Hall. A sheep rampant on a field of rubber boots. You WILL respect my sexuality or else. BAAAAA!
Battler213 4/14/2014 2:12:43 PM Report


"There are MANY sex linked genetic disorders and several that result in some thing other than XX or XY"

So being gay or bi or trans is a disorder now?
steelworker 4/14/2014 2:18:26 PM Report

...more like an anomaly.
Battler213 4/14/2014 2:24:19 PM Report

To me, people live their lives as they should. Doesn't bother me one bit. If you are religious then I see your point. But it's for god to judge - not you.

Phil from Duck Dynasty said it best. It is a sin in his mind - but he also said The biggest problem we have as people is to believe that we must hate something we don't agree with - or agree with everything because we love someone. (Paraphrase of course)

Let them be gay, marry, adpot, etc. Doesn't bother me. What does bother me is the bullying because someone is 'different'.

What else bothers me is bullying city council into raising a flag.

Ugh. Take advice from the dogs people. Just let it sniff you and it'll go away. You bark you will get bit.

Best thing to do is to concentrate on bullying/racism on a broad scale. Once you have pride this pride that - you are stirring the pot and will get bit.
Sam C 4/14/2014 2:26:56 PM Report

Nunavut... You should perhaps expand your reading. There is plenty of evidence that people ARE born the way they are, whether that is straight, gay, or transgendered.

Why would someone make a choice they knew would result in them being harassed and insulted by bigots?
sooperman 4/14/2014 2:50:04 PM Report

So if a person is short, chubby and balding should they get special rights...where do u draw the line ....we accept you but its never enough get over the fact some nvr will that's life
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 3:07:21 PM Report

Battler, idk what to say other than it's not my term. I didn't invent the science of genetics, I just studied it. When you have a combination of sex chromosomes other than XX or XY it is referred to as a sex chromosome abnormality or a genetic disorder.

With that said, very few of the LGBTQxxx community would fall into this bracket.

I think most everything referred to by psychology and the DSM-5 is just another excuse to get people hooked on BigPharma at an early age.

The school my son attended tried to tell me he had OppositionalDefiantDisorder and that he should be medicated if he was to remain in school. We pulled him and the only changes we made were a cleaner diet and a lot more physical activity (he was only getting twenty minutes or so a day) and I'd say he's thriving now....but I'm no "professional" lol

DSM-5 is also attempting to normalize pedophilia (and they're hardly the only ones...) by classifying it as a sexual orientation. So pedophiles have just as much of a right to fly their flag (do they have one?!?) at city hall as the LGBTQers, I guess.

@SamC, not everyone lives their life in fear of how others will treat them. They make decisions based on what feels right to them and not based on what others feel is the appropriate decision to make, which is to say, often it is a choice. How could you possibly discount the impact environment has on the development of an individual?
hog.rider 4/14/2014 4:08:26 PM Report


They are not seeking to be treated differently or better than anyone else, they are seeking the right to live life as their preferred gender, to access the same services the rest of us are and to be treated with dignity and respect. The 519 in toronto and other service providers have done studies that show they are not getting treated fairly at work, at hospitals and in the community. I have met some pretty amazing, highly educated trans people and it is awful to hear how they were treated throughout their lives. Two of them are now seniors and living openly here in the north and they have struggled since they were 8.

The suicide rate among trans people is extraordinary and for those living outside Toronto life is even harder. To the person who asked if I identify as generally I think all politicians are pretty much the same, I identify as a human being and try to treat my fellow humans kindly and not because god or any religion tells me to but because it's the right thing to do.
IgnorantNortherner 4/14/2014 4:31:13 PM Report

I think a fair amount of studies have shown the same to be true of the obese, ugly, short, super tall, minorities, etc. which is why I mentioned them above. What's the difference? I don't think there is one and we should be pushing to END DISCRIMINATION rather than locking in on one segment of the population.

There seems to be a much stronger push to protect LGBTQAAers from discrimination than there is these other groups and so, rightly or wrongly, many perceive them to be looking for something "extra" or "special".

At least in the short term it will work against them (and humanity) and cause further divide among us as they will be viewed as wanting to be defined by their sexuality or gender (which I hardly think is the case).

Nice to hear you don't play the red/blue/orange game, hog.rider
hog.rider 4/14/2014 4:32:39 PM Report

CBC did an excellent multi part report on trans people in the north it's available online and is very interesting and informative, it shows that it's certainly not a matter of " 1 in a million people" notion as suggested by some
hog.rider 4/14/2014 4:40:42 PM Report

The human rights code already protects people from being harassed and discriminated at work for being overweight, or based on looks, age did not address the need to trans people to come to work and live as their preferred gender or to change their gender on identification etc...that is the issue at hand. And yes I'm sure employers discriminate on a number of factors and that too is unacceptable and if a person feels their rights are being violated or they are bullied or harassed at work they can make a report and it will be investigated by the tribunal...that is a guarantee!
DINOBOY 4/14/2014 8:16:39 PM Report

You don't see seagulls living in a crows nest !
upcut 4/15/2014 10:34:18 AM Report

this means that there all change rooms and bath room will be gender neutral .so if your mother or wive or daughter is in a changer room at any heath club they my seen man who claims to be transgender and has not under any procedure,they can use that change room with them. The only recourse women haves to quit whatever health club they belong to when this happens. If enough health clubs lose memberships over this may force of change.
go to sun news search transgender
theo_oeht 4/15/2014 4:47:51 PM Report

Yes! Because Sun Media provides such great non-biased resources..... I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Here is a link to EGALE on Trans rights that will provide additional information.

If someone knows of anyone who is Trans or who identifies as LGBTQIA* and needs additional support, they can find out more community information at the Sault Pride Community Facebook Page

Of if you are a friend or family member of anyone who is LGBTQIA* here is the link to the new Parents and Friends of Lesbians Gays - Sault Ste. Marie website.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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