Legislation aimed at fighting transphobia and allowing transgender youths as young as 14 the right to change their name and choose their designated sex could be passed as early as next week, said Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée.
Vallée tabled Bill 103 Tuesday afternoon.
The bill would amend the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms to provide explicit protection against discrimination based on gender identity.
It would also amend the Civil Code to give more powers to transgender youths aged 14 or over to make their own decisions regarding their identity.
'All parties said they wanted to go forward with this ... Now's the time to show it.' - Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée
The bill's tabling comes late in the spring legislative session, as MNAs are expected to break for the summer on June 10.
However, it comes on the heels of a private member's bill, tabled on May 12 by Québec Solidaire MNA Manon Massé, which called for such changes, and Vallée noted all parties have committed to support the thrust of the legislation.
"So if they really meant it, now's the time to show it."
On heels of federal initiative
In several other provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, it is already possible for minors to change their sex.
The Trudeau government has also tabled legislation to guarantee legal and human rights protection for all transgender Canadians.
Bill C-16 would add the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.
Help for transgender teens
This issue was pushed into the spotlight in Quebec recently, thanks to the story of David James Lazure, a 14-year-old transgender high school student who left his school to be home-schooled because officials would not recognize his gender identity.
'Every time you go to a place where you need to get an ID out, you have to explain, to justify what you've got in your pants.' - Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, mother of Olie, a transgender teen
Lazure's McMasterville school refused to change his name from his birth name on official documents.
Right now, Quebec's Education Ministry has a permanent code for every student, which represents the student's name and sex. It can only be modified by the ministry – not by a school.
That would change under this proposed legislation – a change Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, the mother of another transgender teen, says can't come quickly enough.
"We need that project urgently, so these children can start the school year in September with the right ID card," she said.
"Imagine you don't have ID that corresponds to who you are. That means that every time you go to a place where you need to get an ID out, you have to explain, to justify what you've got in your pants."
Bill 103: An Act to strengthen the fight against transphobia and improve the situation of transgender minors
Bill 103: An Act to strengthen the fight against transphobia and improve the situation of transgender minors (PDF KB)
Bill 103: An Act to strengthen the fight against transphobia and improve the situation of transgender minors (Text KB)