Federal Conservatives again guilty of exclusion

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To the editor,
True to form, Ottawa has failed the transgender community once again. An amendment to include these citizens in a bill that would protect them against hate crimes was rejected. 

Where is the justice in Canada to protect these people and why does Justice Minister Peter MacKay not come forward to object and give the trans community the protection needed to live in peace and give them the protection as all other Canadians? Committee after committee has had their day and positive action must be taken. This fiasco has to end and be dealt with if our justice system is to be respected. Mr. MacKay in his position as a minister of the Crown has the responsibility to fight for this protection and not keep silent regarding this all-important amendment.

This is the latest in a rejection by the federal Conservatives to include our transgender citizens in protection and acceptance. The past two years bills have been introduced by Parliament that would give transgender citizens equal rights to all others. Bill C-279, the last such bill to be passed in the House of Commons, is now stuck again in the Senate. This bill was only supported by a handful of Tory MPs. I have little hope that the bill will pass in a dominated Conservative Senate.

I urge Peter MacKay to assert his influence as Canada’s justice minister and support equality to all who are law abiding, contributing and loving members of our society. This latest shameful action is not worthy of a country that claims to be an inclusive nation. MacKay has consistently voted against equal rights in the past regarding the LGBT community and now he seems to toe the party line and refuses to stand up and give our trans citizens the protection they so richly deserve. This disgraceful rejection must end.

Gerard Veldhoven, New Glasgow

LGBT Activist for Equality

Organizations: Conservatives, House of Commons

Geographic location: Canada, New Glasgow

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