Evidence of meeting #53 for Justice and Human Rights in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site.) The winning word was gender.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Ian Fine  Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Susheel Gupta  Acting Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
  • Diane Watts  Researcher, REAL Women of Canada

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

You make reference, and we've heard this in many other quarters, to the risks apparently associated with this bill to male access to women's public washrooms. It's my understanding that there is no federal law that prevents it now. How can you say that the defeat of this bill will prevent it?

4:05 p.m.

Researcher, REAL Women of Canada

Diane Watts

Those are customs that Canadians have developed. We don't need a law for everything we do. The custom where Canadians feel comfortable having male washrooms and female washrooms, and that people don't go in the other washroom.... It is a Canadian custom.

Mind you, people would like to change that, but Canadians have established this custom and they feel comfortable with that. In the case of B.J.'s Lounge, they felt very uncomfortable with a man walking in thinking he was a woman.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Thank you.

Mr. Seeback.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Brampton West, ON

Mr. Chair, I'm going to give my time to Mr. Bruinooge, if that's okay.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Dave MacKenzie

Thank you.

Mr. Bruinooge

November 27th, 2012 / 4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Thank you, Kyle. Hopefully, we'll be able to get back to you.

Thank you to all the members for your testimony today. I have a number of questions. Perhaps I'll start with Mr. Fine.

Mr. Fine, we were chatting before this began about some aboriginal topics that you and I have discussed in the past, and perhaps I'll start there with a question in relation to that.

Will first nations communities be subject to this bill?

4:05 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

Yes, they will.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Can you perhaps think of any areas within the first nations communities where the passing of this legislation could have an impact?

4:05 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I really can't say—I don't know. I've not spoken to any first nations about this particular issue, so I just can't speculate on whether or not it would be an issue.

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Okay.

What is the context of this bill in relation to first nations communities? Perhaps you could give some background to this panel.

4:05 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

Sorry, just so I understand, when you ask for context, do you mean context around this bill that's before this committee?

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Well, it's in relation to a section 67 repeal.

4:05 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I don't know what I can say in answer to your first question more than what I've said. This law, if passed, would apply equally to first nations, to aboriginal peoples.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Do you believe the mover of this bill is subject to the duty to consult on this bill?

4:10 p.m.

Acting Secretary General, Secretary General's Office, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Ian Fine

I really don't know the answer to that question. I think that would be a question that would be better put to the Department of Justice. I really don't know. If there's any duty to consult, I think it would be something that would be of concern to the Department of Justice and the Attorney General.