Statement from Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton:
“Under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, every individual is equal before and under the law, and has the right to equal protection. This includes transgender persons, as interpreted by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the courts, and made clear in law.
“Over the past several weeks and months, I have met with transgender individuals and advocates who have passionately expressed the desire to see protections currently afforded within the definition of ‘sex’ made more explicit by recognizing ‘gender identity and gender expression’ expressly in B.C.’s Human Rights Code.
“Today, on behalf of our government, I am proud to announce that we will be introducing legislation to amend B.C.’s Human Rights Code to include ‘gender identity or expression’ among the protected grounds covered by the code.
“With these amendments, B.C.’s Human Rights Code will reflect the current state of law in our province and will align with human rights legislation across the country, including Canada’s proposed Bill to add ‘gender identity or expression’ to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
“I know this addition means a great deal to those who have advocated for its inclusion. These amendments will create greater consistency across Canada and will reflect the fact that transgender persons are protected under the common law.
“As we move forward, may we all strive to improve societal attitudes and conditions so that every British Columbian feels as protected and respected as they are by law.”
Statement from Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert:
“I’ve introduced several private members bills to explicitly protect transgender people in B.C.’s Human Rights Code, as transgender people face incredibly high rates of violence and discrimination.
"In order to be protected by the human rights code you have to know you are. This legislation will ensure that it’s crystal clear that discrimination against someone because of their gender identity or gender expression is unacceptable in B.C.
"I’m overjoyed that these explicit protections will finally become law.”