TORONTO, ON – The new bill, the Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act, is an essential piece of legislation that will save lives and ensure that make access to health care more equitable for all. And now that it’s passed second reading, it’s time to push it over the finish line, refuse to delay it any longer – and make sure that it becomes law.

“Trans community activists organized, lobbied, and successfully fought to restore transition related surgeries in 2008,” said Susan Gapka, chair of CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee. “But since then, the Ford Conservatives have cut access to trans health and community services. And now, wait times for referrals and access to trans affirming care and surgeries has dramatically increased, causing distress to those requiring these essential services. People desperately need equitable access to life-saving health care.”

The legislation, introduced by Toronto Centre NDP MPP, Suze Morrison, would establish a committee – consisting of members of the two-spirit, transgender, non-binary, gender diverse, intersex communities, and health care providers – that would make recommendations to the Minister of Health regarding ways to improve access to gender-affirming and transition-related procedures.

“Health care has always been political, with the most vulnerable, disproportionately racialized, often left without full access that meets their personal needs,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “The stigma, discrimination, and, sometimes, exclusion of many people in our communities must end. We need to expand OHIP coverage so people aren’t footing the bill to access the care they need.”

“We have to all work alongside trans communities across Ontario in the development of this campaign to educate politicians, media, and the public about the medical necessity of these essential services,” said Gapka. “It’s time to link this work with our fight against the Ford Conservatives’ attacks against trans communities when they cut sex education curriculum in schools, and its attempts to grant degree granting status to Canada Christian College’s transphobic and xenophobic leader Charles McVety.”

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