moved for leave to introduce Bill C-494, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, also seconded by the member for Vancouver East, a private member's bill entitled “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression)”.
The bill would add gender identity and gender expression as distinguishing characteristics protected under hate propaganda section 318 of the Criminal Code.
The bill would also add gender identity and expression as aggravating factors to be considered at the time of sentencing of an offender under section 718.2 of the Criminal Code.
Transgender and transsexual people are regularly victims of abuse and harassment, and physical violence. The bill would ensure that transphobic violence against transgender and transsexual people is clearly identified as a hate crime by addressing the lack of explicit protection for transsexual and transgender people under the current hate provisions of the Criminal Code.
It would also allow judges to take into account whether crimes committed were motivated by hatred of transgender or transsexual people when they are determining the sentence of an offender.
Including gender identity and expression in the hate provisions and the sentencing provisions in the Criminal Code would send a strong signal that violence targeting people for their gender identity or expression will not be tolerated in Canada.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)