Friday, February 11, 2011

Surprise–Our Minority Gov’t CAN Work

     Two surprising votes this week prove that our minority parliament CAN work to make the will of Canadians known.
     Bill Siksay’s private member Bill C-389 passed its 3rd and final reading 143 to 135 (with 6 conservatives voting for it).
   “The bill would add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act, providing explicit protection for transsexual and transgender Canadians. It would also add gender identity and gender expression to the Criminal Code sections dealing with hate speech and sentencing for crimes where hate was a motivating factor.”
     This finally adds the “T” to complete the GBLT group (not to be confused with a BLT sandwich) as being “people” against whom violence is being a hate crime. Maybe it would be simpler to just recognize unprovoked violence against ANY person as a hate crime? 

     In an unrelated victory for democracy, a bill to roll back the corporate tax rate was passed 149 to 134. The expectation that the Conservatives will just  ignore the bill does not negate the fact that this shows the Parliament can and does (sometimes) represent the will of most Canadians as expressed through their duly elected representatives in the House of Commons.
     That is one thing that “My Canada” has not yet lost. It remains to be seen if the mechanisms for implementation of a duly passed bill still acts effectively.
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