Author Topic: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16  (Read 2287 times)

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Offline KathyLauren

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Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« on: December 06, 2016, 04:47:24 pm »
Bill C-16, currently before the Senate, would include gender identity as a prohibited grounds for discrimination in human rights legislation at the federal level.  According to Anmesty International (https://www.amnesty.ca/get-involved/take-action-now/canada-call-senate-protect-transgender-rights), senators are being "flooded" with messages opposing the bill.

Since the majority of Canadians, according to various polls, are in favour of protection for transgender people, this can only mean that there is a behind-the-scenes campaign under way by some unidentified anti-trans group to defeat the bill.

So, if you care about this bill, please write your senators (your own, those of your province, or, what the heck, all of them), urging them to support the bill. 

I got a reply back from my senator, warning of "unintended consequences" of social legislation.  So obviously he's not going to support it.  :(  Just for fun, I asked him what unintended consequences he had in mind.  >:-)  I'll let you know if he answers that.

[Edit:] Heard back from him.  No surprise, the "unintended consequences" are "security concerns over bathroom access"!  Aargh!  I sent him a politely worded note telling him what I thought of that.

Also heard back from another senator who is in favour of the bill!  :)
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Angela Drakken

Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 08:06:21 pm »
I'll be visiting my local MP in person. (We need to have a conversation anyways.)

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 08:10:24 pm »
The MPs have already passed Bill C-16 in the House of Commons, all three readings.  It is now in the Senate, so it is the Senators that need to be persuaded, not the MPs.

Back in 2011, this same bill passed all three readings in the Commons only to be defeated in the Senate.  It could happen again if some people have their way.
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Angela Drakken

Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 08:24:39 pm »
Back in 2011, this same bill passed all three readings in the Commons only to be defeated in the Senate.  It could happen again if some people have their way.

Granted, that was under a Harper majority, was it not? (That man was pretty much cancer in every way imaginable..) While I'm still concerned, if I'm not mistaken, Trudeau's Liberals have a majority now? That may be a ray of hope, if anything. *fingers crossed.*

Angela Drakken

Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 03:04:59 pm »
Roll call;

Has anyone received confirmation or a response their letters and or emails have been read/accepted/considered?

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 03:29:18 pm »
I received four responses out of nine letters sent. 

You get better responses from MPs than from senators, it seems.  At least if you write your MP, you will usually get a form letter back saying that your issue is "very important" and that they will give it their "full consideration".  The replies I got appeared to be from the senators themselves, not from office flunkies, so perhaps senators don't have staff.   That would make replies less likely.
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Offline arice

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 04:31:24 pm »
I received four responses out of nine letters sent. 

You get better responses from MPs than from senators, it seems.  At least if you write your MP, you will usually get a form letter back saying that your issue is "very important" and that they will give it their "full consideration".  The replies I got appeared to be from the senators themselves, not from office flunkies, so perhaps senators don't have staff.   That would make replies less likely.
My husband has dealt with Canadian senators for a variety of issues. They typically have only a very small staff and deal with most correspondence personally. They are also relatively amenable to phone conversations and email.
The Conservatives do not hold a majority in the Senate but neither do the Liberals. Progressive senators can either sit as "Independent Liberals" or Unaffiliated.

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk


Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 07:25:48 am »
Bill C-16 is still in trouble in the Senate.  Bill C-16 would prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity in areas of federal jurisdiction.  It has passed third reading in the House of Commons long ago, but a handful of senators are preventing it from even coming to a vote in the Senate.

News story here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/peter-harder-conservative-senators-hostage-1.4064119

Please write your senators, and especially the party leaders in the senate to urge them to pass this law in a timely manner.  You can find out who your senators are and get their email addresses here: https://sencanada.ca/en/senators/
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Online Niki Knight

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 07:51:53 am »
Hi Kathy, I have sent a few letters and had a couple positive responses back. I hope it goes through, fingers crossed.
For what its worth.
Its never to late to be who you want to be
I hope you live a life your proud of
And if you find your not
I hope you have the strength to start over.

F Scott Fitzgerald

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 02:59:12 pm »
I heard back from Sen. Harder today.  Kind of a bland form letter saying he was in favour of the bill, but not saying whether he will act to blow the logjam in the Senate.  Oh well, at least he read my email.
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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2017, 08:03:56 am »
Now there is a TERF attack on bill C-16.   >:(

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/transgender-rights-bill-female-born-spaces-1.4110634
Transgender rights bill threatens 'female-born' women's spaces, activists say
John Paul Tasker, CBC News, May 12, 2017

Folks, we need to be vocal and put pressure on the senators to pass this bill.  We especially need to put pressure on senators on the government side, because the opposition's tactic is to prevent the bill from ever coming to a vote.  Only the government can force a vote.
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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2017, 02:55:39 pm »
And finally, some good news...
https://www.hilltimes.com/2017/05/10/hill-im-prepared-die-government-aims-pass-trans-rights-bill-summer/106242
Government aims to pass transgender rights bill before summer
The government in the Senate will use time allocation for the first time if it’s needed to keep the bill moving
The Hill Times, May 12, 2017
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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2017, 06:22:47 am »
Here is an opinion piece on this issue, especially on the TERF attack I linked to two posts ago.  The column is a bit triggering as he is giving background on the story.  But at the end when he is giving his opinion, he gets it right.

Niel MacDonald is a senior editorial writer at CBC, and his opinions are well respected in this country.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/trans-rights-bill-1.4113455
The far left and far right converge on trans rights in Canada
Neil Macdonald, CBC News, May 13, 2017
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Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2017, 12:57:59 pm »
The opposition is at it again, trying to obstruct Bill C-16.  It came up for debate at third reading in the Senate yesterday (May 30th).  (Hansard, May 30th, 2017:) https://sencanada.ca/en/content/sen/chamber/421/debates/124db_2017-05-30-e  They talked about it for half an hour and then Sen. Neil Plett, the chief opponent and obstructor of the bill adjourned debate on it.

Their strategy has always been, since they don't have the votes to kill it, to prevent it from coming to a vote long enough for it to die at the end of the session.  It has to pass before the end of June or it is dead.

All trans-friendly Canadians shouild be concerned about this.  Please write to Sen. Plett to express your outrage at the obstruction, and to Sen. Peter Harder, the government senator who has the power to force a vote, urging him to do so.
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Offline Paige

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2017, 01:21:59 pm »
Hey,

More leftover baggage from the Harper senate appointments.  You would think they would have a little humility after the recent scandals in the Senate.  I guess they have nothing to lose.  Just another reason to be disgusted with this unelected part of our government.

Paige :)

Offline Kristinagl

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 10:02:03 pm »
so I actually listened to this debate on cpac....oh the excitement...but for once I was actually impressed about how these senators debated this like responsible adults for the most part and actually acknowledged us as a group that needs protection from discrimination. Now let's pretend I don't fully understand how our parliament and senate completely work. But how is it possible that it goes through all three readings and passes the House of Commons again... Then makes it to the third and final reading in the senate with overwhelming support just to have this bill not go to vote. I understand that some are trying to stall. But I honestly want to know how the bill can  be blocked with out a final vote cause that I don't understand.

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 06:30:05 pm »
I think it is technically possible for the government to insist on a vote by means of "time allocation".  I linked to a story about time allocation in reply #7 in this thread.

But they are reluctant to use it, as it goes against their views on senate reform.  The rules of the senate allow any member to adjourn debate on anything any time they want, effectively cutting off progress for that day.  It is pretty easy for the opposition to stall a bill forever until the session expires and all pending legislation dies.  That is what happened to previous attempts to pass this or similar bills.
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Offline Paige

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2017, 08:29:44 am »
I think it is technically possible for the government to insist on a vote by means of "time allocation".  I linked to a story about time allocation in reply #7 in this thread.

But they are reluctant to use it, as it goes against their views on senate reform.  The rules of the senate allow any member to adjourn debate on anything any time they want, effectively cutting off progress for that day.  It is pretty easy for the opposition to stall a bill forever until the session expires and all pending legislation dies.  That is what happened to previous attempts to pass this or similar bills.


Trudeau was extremely naive about Senate reform as he is with many things.  He seems to have thought the Senate would magically transform from a bastion of partisans to a collective of free thinking collaborative people.  Tory partisans never change their stripe.

Paige :)

Offline Kristinagl

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2017, 11:53:27 am »
I spent the time and emailed some senators and mr harder responded to me today



"Thank you for your email regarding Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.   I appreciate you taking the time to share your views on this important piece of legislation.

This bill has my full and unwavering support.    Passing this bill will send an important, powerful and hopeful message of inclusion and acceptance to a group of Canadians who experience alienation and discrimination that most of us cannot even imagine. It will also help elevate awareness of the plight of transgender people and inspire Canadians' compassion.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Peter Harder P.C.

Government Representative in the Senate"

Ain't gonna lie. It's crunch time and I'm worried that it won't get a chance to go to vote before the summer break. Hopefully these senators give this bill a chance to go to a vote

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: Canadians: write your senators re Bill C-16
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2017, 01:16:02 pm »
Yeah, same form letter I got from him twice.  Thanks for writing!  The more pressure that can be brought to bear on them the better.

I've been following the debates in Hansard.  I haven't yet checked to see if it came up yesterday (Monday), but they were debating it every day last week.  The government says they are committed to passing it this session.  I hope they mean it.  They've only got a couple of weeks left.
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