N.W.T. minister denies discriminating against transgender woman

The N.W.T.'s finance minister denies that he asked a transgender woman to leave the building during the Governor General of Canada's visit to Fort Smith in December.

Complainant says Michael Miltenberger asked her to leave during Governor General's visit

The N.W.T.'s finance minister denies that he discriminated against a transgender woman during the Governor General of Canada's visit to Fort Smith in December.

N.W.T. Finance minister Michael Miltenberger says he did not ask a transgendered woman to leave the Aurora College campus in Fort Smith during the Governor General's visit in December. (CBC)

Gabrielle Landrie, a math and business student at Aurora College, filed a human rights complaint against Michael Miltenberger, saying he asked her to leave the college’s campus during David Johnston’s visit.

In his 12-page response to Landrie's complaint, Miltenberger admits that he told the transgender woman that the Governor General was 'spooked' by her, but he denies that he told her to leave the campus.

Gabrielle Landrie says she was wearing this outfit on Dec. 9 when the Governor General visited Fort Smith, N.W.T. (Photo courtest of D. Landrie)

Miltenberger says security was nervous about Landrie standing in a hallway.

Landrie says that allegation blew her out of the water.

"Oh God, I get such a charge out of that," she said. "Because if there was a security issue, the Governor General's guards would've put me in detention right away, and asked questions later."

According to the statement — which was prepared by a government lawyer — two witnesses, including Miltenberger's constituency assistant, say Landrie was loitering and looking for attention that day.

Landrie says she wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary.

"There's nothing outrageous about the dress that I wear," she said. "Most of my clothing is quite elegant actually … and students stand in the hallway all the time talking."

The human rights commission has until March 16 to refer the complaint to a hearing, open an investigation or dismiss it.