PM Trudeau answers a question on trans rights in prison during a town hall in Kingston, Ontario
QUESTION: Okay, Prime Minister Trudeau, welcome to Kingston. I also want to say that I am a proud Canadian and a veteran of 36 years, although my question has absolutely nothing to do with being a veteran. I’m also a trans-gender advocate and I’m extremely happy that C-16 looks like it’s going to pass and through the Senate very shortly. But what I want to talk about is one of the after-effects of C-16, and that is with Corrections Canada. Corrections Canada has in the past been doing what I consider torture of trans-gender inmates by placing like -- especially trans women in a prison for men. Now you would not of course consider the fact that a woman of any other type would be put in a man’s prison. But trans women have been.
This is especially of concern when you read that one article out of Australia where a trans woman claims she had been raped over 2,000 times. Now I’m not saying that happens in Canada. I strongly suspect a lot of trans women are put into segregation, which is not much better than solitary confinement. So my question to you is will you do your best to ensure that trans women are put in prison -- a prison more appropriate to their gender identity?
RT HON JUSTIN TRUDEAU: The answer is yes, I will ensure that. I mean, this is a great example of the value of having these community meetings like this and these town halls because I’ll admit I consider myself to be a fairly strong advocate for LGBTQ2 issues and fairly aware of all the different pressures and this wasn’t one that I had ever thought of. So thank you for bringing it forward, and I will make sure that we look at it and we address it and we do right in recognizing that trans rights are human rights that we need to make sure that we are defending everyone’s dignity and rights in every way we can, and this is something that if we’re not already addressing it, and I hope we’re starting to address it, even without my leaning in on it, now we will take a closer look at it.