Thursday 27 June 2024

Trudeau gov’t to make all bathrooms in Parliament buildings GENDER NEUTRAL

 The Liberal administration of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently announced that all bathrooms on Parliament Hill will soon become totally gender neutral.

Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa is home to Canada's parliament buildings and the seat of the country's federal government. The left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) recently presented a motion before the House of Commons to scrap all gendered bathrooms in federal workplaces – and Trudeau's administration is supporting this measure.

Earlier this June, NDP Member of Parliament (MP) Don Davies led a petition in the House of Commons that all male and female bathrooms be banned in federal workplaces due to the significant barriers that exclusionary bathroom policies create for transgender, non-binary and other gender non-conforming individuals.

"The people who signed the petition point out that safe access to bathrooms is a basic physical need and necessary for participation in civic life, the workplace, educational settings and other public spaces," said Davies in a statement before the House of Commons. "They also point out that exclusionary bathroom policies cause significant barriers for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. They note that avoiding bathroom use can result in serious health consequences, including urinary tract infections and kidney problems."

"Therefore, they call on the government to, among other things, amend the Canada Labour Code to require gender-inclusive bathrooms in all federally regulated workplaces and to ensure that there is access to public bathrooms for everyone in this country," Davies continued.

In response, the Trudeau administration has decided to scrap all gendered bathrooms on Parliament Hill.

According to MP Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, approximately 200 bathrooms in the Centre Block and the Parliament Welcome Centre will be redesigned to be more accessible and inclusive.

Duclos stated that more than half will be individual facilities with a single toilet and sink, while a few dozen units will be "designed to be barrier-free" or "accessible to wheelchairs" with no urinals. In addition to Parliament Hill, the policy extends to various federally regulated spaces, including national parks.

Duclos then explained that this move is designed to cater to the expectations and needs of LGBT Canadians, ensuring the facilities meet the demands of the 2030s and beyond.

Removal of women-only bathrooms could lead to increased sexual violence against women

Historically, most public places in Canada, including government buildings, did not have separate bathrooms for women until the election of the first female MP in 1921. Now, their removal is drawing the ire of the Canadian Women's Sex-Based Rights (CAWSBR) organization.

"Women and girls in Canada are five more times to be sexually assaulted than males, with 99 percent of sexual assaults being perpetrated by men," CAWSBR said. "This disparity in terms of vulnerability and safety is the primary reason for why sex-segregated spaces have been considered a necessity (and, one could argue is a fundamental right for females, under the Canadian Human Rights Act), when it comes to facilities used in public and private sectors, including bathrooms, change rooms and hospital rooms."  

The organization believes that the removal of women-only bathrooms could not only lead to an increase in sexual violence against women but would also render women-only spaces meaningless, "as any male who decides that they identify as a girl or woman may now use girls’/women’s facilities."

"Girls and women, despite the Canadian Human Rights Act, despite being at high risk of sexual assault by males, are being ordered to open their spaces and their rights when it comes to their most vulnerable spaces to include males. Damn the consequences," they added.

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