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Same-sex couples fight for employee benefits

The Story

Extending spousal benefits to gay and lesbian employees is just the right thing to do, says MP Svend Robinson. His fellow MP, Al Johnson, disagrees. And federal Justice Minister Kim Campbell is staying out of it. That means employees in Canada are on their own in the fight to win dental care and other workplace benefits for their partners. Despite lobbying by an employee group, Bell is waiting to see what others in its industry do. But, as CBC reporter Susan Reisler learns, Ontario Hydro hasn't waited for legislation to grant spousal benefits to its employees. "More than the cost, it's an equity issue," says director Mordan Morthy.   

Medium: TV
Broadcast Date: Dec. 10, 1992
Program: Prime Time News
Host: Pamela Wallin
Reporter: Susan Reisler
Guests: Svend Robinson, Al Johnson, Michael Leshner, Carl Miller, Sandra Cruickshanks, Kim Campbell, Russ Campanello, Pauli Laurachild, Mordan Morthy
Duration: 12:17

Did You know?

• Svend Robinson represented the B.C. riding of Burnaby for the NDP from 1979 to 2004 and, in 1988, was the first MP to publicly come out as gay.
• Alberta MP Al Johnson served one term in the House of Commons, from 1988 to 1993.
• Gay marriage was legalized in Ontario on June 10, 2003. Michael Stark and Michael Leshner, seen in this clip, were the first gay couple in Canada to be legally married.


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