Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was passed into law by the Parliament of Canada in June 2017. This law amends the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity, or purposely misgendering, will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education.“ As gender identity legislation and policies are being instituted across Canada, there are concerns that freedom of expression rights could be impeded by Bill C-16 and similar provincial statutes across Canada.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms asks students at Canadian colleges universities to answer (in 2500 words or less) the following question:
Should Canadians be required by law to use gender-neutral pronouns? Why or why not?
Founded in 2010 as a voice for freedom in Canada’s courtrooms, the JCCF’s mission is to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through litigation and education.
The JCCF’s vision is for a Canada where: