A Letter to The Canadian Human Rights Commission

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 21, 2017

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Submitted: April 21, 2017



17 April 2017

Canadian Human Rights Commission
344 Slater Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1


To the Members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission:


I am writing this letter to address my concerns regarding the recent amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act that add legal protection to “gender identity” and “gender expression”. The policy statements surrounding Bill C-16 are poorly formulated and dangerously vague, and while your true motivations for its passing may have been in good faith, I believe that this legislation is severely problematic.


Your representatives seem to neglect the fact that there is a massive difference between criminalizing speech that incites violence and using the law to force citizens into using a certain kind of language. Freedom of Speech is the most vital of natural rights in any sovereign nation. It grants people the right to speak their mind freely, so long as they are willing to suffer the consequences of engaging in speech that directly incites panic or violence. For example, as you know, if one shouts “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater, he will be arrested on the grounds of falsely identifying a fire and causing unwarranted panic. One can not, however, be arrested on the grounds of offending or insulting someone, even if what the accused person says is factually false. These new changes in your country’s policy are frightening because they enforce certain assumptions about basic human nature that are inherently false, threatening and undoubtedly driven by an underlying political agenda.


Many of the people who support Bill C-16 appear to believe that by labeling any dissenting opinion as hate speech, it gives them the necessary justification to silence or prevent their political opponents from proposing a counter argument. The most obvious reason why this pattern of thinking is flawed is because one cannot fully understand a problem from every angle until he has listened to both sides. The right of the individual to freely and openly express opinions that may be contradictory or offensive is what keeps a society functioning properly. Repeatedly attempting to silence those with dissenting opinions and picking away at free speech leaves nothing but tyranny and slavery in its wake, which is why many Canadian citizens view Bill C-16 as a dangerous threat to their freedom. This threat is not strictly reserved for the citizens of Canada, however. The dangerous ideas rooted in your committee’s legislations have begun to seep their way into the United States.


The New York City Human Rights Law, a legislation similar to Bill C-16, was passed in New York City not long after its Canadian counterpart. The law requires employers, including landlords and businesses, to use one’s preferred pronouns, regardless of the person’s biological sex. Violations of this law are punished with massive legal liability. The intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title is considered a violation, just as in Canada’s bill. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” after she has made clear which pronouns and title she uses, could result in a fine of up to $250,000. The government is essentially threatening the citizens of New York with severe civil penalties if they refuse to use a certain kind of language, or what they like to call one’s “preferred pronouns”.


Your thoughtless, ideologically driven legislations are forcing people to use words that they may not have freely chosen. In my opinion, that is where the people have to draw a line. This bill only serves to advance a malign your bias political agenda that has poisoned its way into the education system, and is now seeping into certain issues that should be dealt with at a societal level, not a legal one. The idea of government regulators forcing people to say things that convey and support a certain agenda and ideology regarding gender should make anyone feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, I believe that the best course of action for Canada to take would be to retract this legislation, as it violates the very essence of what it means to be a free, sovereign nation in the twenty-first century.


Mackenzie Katz; a concerned citizen


© Copyright 2018 Mackenzie Katz. All rights reserved.

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