Manitoba Bill to Add Gender Identity and Social Disadvantage to Human Rights Code

On Wednesday, Manitoba’s Justice Minister Andrew Swan introduced Bill 36, The Human Rights Code Amendment Act.

The Act will expand Manitoba’s Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and “social disadvantage,” which would protect people who are, or who are perceived to be, low income-earners, undereducated, unemployed, underemployed, homeless, or living in inadequate housing.

Manitoba’s Human Rights Code has prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for many years but an explicit provision for transgendered people is said to enhance their protection. Swan is quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press, stating:

“The commission has been very clear that if it can go out and can expressly talk about protection of transgender people, that will make it safer for (them) and their families.”

Quebec’s human rights legislation has similar protection for poverty and Ontario recently introduced protection for gender identity.

For media coverage, click here and here.


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