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Weaver introduces private members bills to protect and acknowledge diverse gender identities

March 15, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, introduced two private members bills to that would further the rights of British Columbians with diverse gender identity and expression. The bills are amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Amendment Act (PIPA).

“Personal information such as sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation is already protected under FIPPA, in 2018 we should absolutely include gender identity and expression,” said Weaver.

“People with diverse gender identity and expression still face discrimination and far too often violence. It is essential that this information be protected to ensure it is not be released without their consent.”

Weaver was made aware of the need for these changes after meeting with local trans youth from The Trans Tipping Point Project, a UVic initiative organized by Dr. Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry, with young trans people from across Canada.

“It was an amazing feeling to speak truth to power, and to be heard and listened to, and then have something done about it. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity, and to everyone who supported us in making this happen,” said Avery Williams, one of the Trans Tipping Point Project youth.

The amendment to FIPPA would ensure that information regarding an individual's gender identity and expression cannot be revealed by the head of a public body, and that it must be redacted in Freedom of Information Requests. The amendment to PIPA would replace instances of gendered language (he and she) with gender neutral language, reinforcing the principle that gender identity is important and is personal information that should not be revealed without consent.

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