Letters and Editorials 6121 Views Vanida Plamondon

Nunavut: Transgendered woman files human rights complaint

My name is Vanida Plamondon, and I have filed a human rights claim against the Department of Health and Social Services, Government of Nunavut.

Why? Because even though medical treatment of gender dysphoria has been established as a basic human right by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Government of Nunavut decided to deny me medical treatment because I am transgendered.

It is a sad fact that in some jurisdictions of Canada, medical treatment continues to be denied to transgender men and women, because some provinces and territories can get away with it.

Consider the following attributed to pastor Martin Niemoller;

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and then there was no one left to speak for me."

Though this example is an extreme example, I use it to point out that when discrimination against a minority is allowed to continue, then it becomes easier for governments to discriminate against other minorities because they know they will be allowed to do so.

The only recourse I had was to file a Human Rights Complaint, because no one stood up with me to oppose discrimination in this case.

Imagine what our government could get away with such recourse did not exist.

Imagine the cost to the taxpayers to remedy a government's discrimination, because not enough people cared enough to speak out to the government.

I know many people do not support medical treatment for transgendered men and women, and if that's you, I ask if you feel comfortable with opening the door to more discrimination to other minorities, because that is a very real possibility.


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