Risks inherent in NDP's 'Bathroom Bill'
Wild Rose Report: A column by MP Blake Richards
Around Parliament Hill, it has come to be known as the “Bathroom Bill”– an NDP Private Members’ Bill, C-389, that calls for amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act and portions of Canada’s Criminal Code to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Or, to put the practical effect of the bill into plain language, it would allow and legitimize access by a biological man who claims to “identify” himself as a woman into facilities reserved for women, such as public washrooms and fitness club changing rooms.
The premise of this bill is dangerous and a slippery slope. Because gender identity is subjective, the bill’s protections are wide open to abuse by “Peeping Tom” voyeurs, sex offenders and pedophiles.
Imagine how easy it would be for a man caught lurking in a girls washroom to avoid prosecution by claiming he actually identifies himself as a woman and only wants to “express” that gender.
Adding insult to injury, the bill makes gender identity an aggravating factor in discrimination cases. This means that any woman who objects or reacts negatively to a man in a female washroom with her would be opening herself up to potentially being charged with a hate crime!
Supporters of the bill say the bathroom access issue is a straw man argument since laws already on the books would deal with anyone who harasses or assaults washroom users. And that’s true, in so far as it goes. But what this bill’s supporters don’t want to address is the new and expanded access this legislation would give sex offenders to their victims. It opens up time, space and opportunities for sexual predators to plan and commit their crimes.
Tolerance is an admirable trait, but common sense and personal safety must also be taken into consideration.
I will once again be voting against this bill when it returns to the House of Commons. It is my hope that enough Opposition members will do the same.