Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ottawa: First March for Trans Rights

In Ottawa this sunday there will be the first protest for transgendered rights the city has seen. Transgendered people who range widely on the gender continum including transsexuals, intersexed, androgyns, genderqueers, and more are not properly protected in laws. Only the North West Territories has the inclusion of gender identity and expression within their human rights code. Bill Siksay of the NDP has introduced legislation that would include gender identity and expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act. In my view this needs to be added to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The amending of legal rights will not end discrimination or transphobia, but it will be easier to fight for personal rights, work rights, and health care rights. Transgender people are at much higher rates of depression, self-endangering activity, direct discrimination, verbal and physical attacks then other sections of the population. Trans people need to have more official rights on an institutional level as well as, more support services to make sure trans people get the help and especially medical attention they need.

The march in Ottawa is in lead up to November 20th which is the Interational Trans Day of Remembrance for all those who have died in the past year due to transphobia.

For more information:
Ottawa March For Trans Equality
Ottawa Trans Day of Remembrance
International Trans Day of Remembrance

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Ottawa: Municipal Elections

Today in Ottawa is the Municipal elections for Mayor, Councillors, and School Board Trustees. The major issues in the current election are public transit, pesiticide use, waste management, homelessness, and womyn's rights. All these issues are important and I encourage you to check out the candidates even if just for mayor.

The Front Running Cadidates for Mayor are:
Bob Chiarelli:
Alex Munter:
Larry O'Brien:
No matter who you support people should use their democratic right to vote.

It is rare, but for once I'm going to endorse a candidate. In these elections I am endorsing Alex Munter as he is a life-long gay rights activist, has been very involved with local politics, and I agree with the majority of his platform. One of the other major reason I support him however, is his support of womyn. Neither Chiarelli or O'Brien have been supportive or open to listening to womyn's groups. At a candidates debate on womyn's issues only Munter out of the three was even willing to show up and talk to local womyn. A video interview with one of the organizers is available here.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Video: Can. War Resister

Canada has its first public War Resister. Former member of the Canadian Navy and then Army officer canditate, Francisco "Paco" Juarez. I was lucky enough to meet and see him speak in person yesterday at the Canadian Peace Alliance Convention. I encourage everyone to watch this speech of him in Vancouver last month.

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