moved for leave to introduce Bill C-227, An Act to amend the Employment Equity Act.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a private member's bill entitled “an act to amend the Employment Equity Act”.
The Employment Equity Act was designed to ensure that we achieve equality in employment in the federal public service and for large employers in the private sector that come under federal jurisdiction. The fact is that the workforces in these areas still fail to represent the diversity of the Canadian population.
As it stands, the Employment Equity Act applies to only four groups: women, aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and visible minorities. Members of my community, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Canadians, are left out of the act. This private member's bill would make sure we are counted in.
Once again, I would like to thank the Public Service Alliance of Canada for its strong advocacy on this issue, and in particular Paul Jones of the Union of National Defence Employees in my riding.
We know that so many Canadians remain under-represented in all levels of employment, and that transgender Canadians suffer particularly high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Adding transgender Canadians to the Employment Equity Act would force employers to address this fact and come up with concrete plans to remove the barriers to equal employment for all.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)