Mr. Chair, I am very pleased to be able to join the committee for this session, and I'm very pleased to be able to talk to the minister about this today.
I want to recognize the sense of urgency with which you've adopted your approach to this legislation. Mr. Falk has raised questions that are theoretical, for the future, on what may happen. To me, what is important about this bill is that it addresses what actually happens every day in our society. Mr. Bittle made reference to high levels of unemployment among the transgender community, despite very high education levels in general, and the very severe poverty suffered as a result of those levels of unemployment in the transgender community, plus very elevated levels of violence. So I applaud you for the sense of urgency in which you have brought the bill forward.
This has been before Parliament in one form or another for nearly 12 years, and it has already passed the House of Commons twice, only to die in the Senate—the unelected Senate, I should say. I really do applaud your sense of urgency and I hope we can keep this bill moving.
Today, your framing this in terms of access to justice is very important and perhaps something we neglected in the past. I particularly like your comments that everyone should not have to be an expert in legal interpretation to discover that this kind of discrimination is prohibited. I think that is key. If some of the arguments are made that this is already covered, that everybody already knows this, then I don't think we'd have these levels of discrimination that take place right now. I don't think everyone understands that this is covered by our various forms of legislation.
Also, there are gaps, as we have acknowledged. By forcing transgender people to go into the legal system and argue that they are like other people. but their discrimination is like something else, adds an unnecessary complication to their approach to the legal system. I think that's very important.
I do actually have a question, and I would like us to talk about what the bill will actually do instead of what it doesn't do. This bill doesn't do anything about bathrooms. This is really not about bathrooms.
There are some areas of federal jurisdiction where it will have an impact, such as discrimination in employment and things like banking where, I have to say, the TD Bank and Royal Bank have run well ahead of the government on this. They have very progressive employment relation policies in place. The unions in federal jurisdictions, like Unifor, have taken very progressive policies in helping come up with ways to transition in the workplace. There is one where there may not be as great an impact, just because people are already moving, and we'd be catching up.
In other areas, I would like to talk a bit about two things. One is corrections and immigration detention, where we have had problems with people being placed in dangerous positions as a result of policies. The other is on the question of air travel and the examination of gender at the gate in airports.
I wonder if you have a comment on either of those, and the kinds of changes we might see as a result of this legislation.