Canadian MP: Government ‘trying to kill’ transgender rights bill

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Canada’s much-delayed transgender hate crime bill has been stalled yet again, after being bumped off a committee’s agenda.

Bill C-279 would provide basic hate crime protections for trans people, and has been under discussion for several years.

Despite being passed by the House of Commons nearly two years ago, the Conservative-controlled Senate is yet to do so – with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party accused of blocking it with bureaucracy.

The bill was due to finally be discussed at the legal and constitutional affairs committee this week – but committee chair Bob Runciman told the Globe and Mail that it had been bumped in favour of government business.

It is unlikely that the committee will now review the bill before February. The bill needs to pass the Senate before the federal election next October, or the Commons process will have to be started from scratch.

MP Randall Garrison – who tabled the bill – launched a scathing attack on the Conservatives, saying he is “fed up” with the Senate blocking a bill already passed by the Commons.

He said: “I believe their intention is to kill the bill by delay.”

Noa Mendelsohn Aviv of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said: “It’s not a long bill, it’s not a complicated bill, it’s been before them before, it’s time that it gets passed and it’s disappointing.”