Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sending My Concerns: Last Post re: GRS in prisons

Alright, I'm done. There's just...not really anything else I can do. I've come to the personal conclusion that Minister Toews' decision to cease funding of Gender Reassignment Surgery was probably illegal, but that's based largely on my own suspicions. Given that I've been trying to find out from his office how it could be legal, given the fact that a federal court said it was an essential medical service, since late November of last year, and given no response other then an unsubstantiated assurance that it was legal by his staff. Which, needless to say, was not very convincing.

I reported it to the Human Rights Commision, since the Human Rights Tribunal ruled similarily to the federal courts two years previous. But, it takes a complaint be who it personally affects, and is willing to commit to the legal battle. Given the fact that transgender inmates that wish to transition and are at that point in their transition are relatively rare, and that most won't want the legal battle, it's unknown when that battle will happen.

I'm angry. I hate the fact that our government can apparently do illegal things, or ignore court orders, and it takes people hurt by that action to even try and right it. I hate that as a concerned citizen who noticed, I couldn't even get a straight answer about how it could be legal, much less try and make a change. I hate that my e-mails and calls were basically ignored, and that transgender inmates are going to suffer (by dint of being housed with their gender-assigned-at-birth, rathern their identified gender, if nothing else) by being denied something that the federal courts declared an essential medical service.

And I hate the sick feeling in my stomach that reminds me that the woman from the HRC told me this has happened before, and that it's going to happen again. If I ignore a court order, something tells me that it doesn't take someone being hurt by my ignoring the court order for me to be punished.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I won't know that until someone from the Ministry of Public Safety or Minister Victor Toews' office contacts me and tells me how it was legal. And you know what? I'm not holding my breath.

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