There’s a bill before Parliament right now from Burnaby NDP MP Bill Siksay to entrench trangendered rights in Canada’s Human Rights Act. This bill would extend protection from discrimination to include gender identity and gender expression, in addition to the traditional protections like religion and race.
As a private member’s bill, it has a slim chance of passing, but this one so far has had the support of the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois and is already to third reading (it takes 3 readings in the House to pass and then must pass the Senate to become law).
Now, the Conservatives have been relatively quiet on this bill. They’re opposed to it, and have voted against it. Their official objection is:
After much thought and careful examination, it seems obvious to me that the amendments proposed in this bill are useless and unclear. That is why I will be voting against this bill, for legal reasons that I will now explain. – Daniel Petit, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice
But this isn’t good enough for Charles McVety (the Jerry Falwell of Canada), who thinks the Conservatives have “rushed it through” and that this bill will allow creepy old men and serial murderers to shower with his daughters.
McVety is notorious after he tried to bring about a moral outrage in the early part of the 2000s over the passing of gay marriage in parliament. He was quick to take credit for rallying his Christian soldiers behind the Conservative win in 2006 and claims strong influence in the government.
When you hear about scary hidden agendas in the Harper Conservatives, just listen to what this guy says and you’ll hear the worst of it.
For better or worse though (depending on your point of view), Harper’s just smart enough to tread carefully on the theocratic rhetoric for fear of alienating the large secular portion of the country (i.e. most Canadians, Christian or not, who don’t like American Christian Right-wing politics).
Update: I forgot to mention that Harper’s real strategy may be to do as he did with the NDP Climate Change Accountability Act (which would have put real emission limits on the country) and let the unelected Con majority in the Senate kill it quietly through procedural moves where the opposition isn’t notified of a vote.