Liberals announce that Canada will introduce legislation that will offer federal protections to trans Canadians. Still, in light of the arson at the CMC Clinic, the only medical clinic in Canada that offers gender reaffirming surgeries to trans people, the media has been relatively quiet about the act of violence. Trans individuals have been wondering why the media has been so silent about such a heinous act of violence. Lindsay Nixon spoke to Sophia Banks about the issue.
Paul Martin claims that, “Canadians aren’t racist,” and Indigenous peoples clap back.
Arson at Montreal Trans Clinic
A medical clinic in Montreal was damaged on the evening of May 2, 2016.
The CMC is a private medical centre and the only medical clinic in Canada that offers gender reaffirming surgeries to trans peoples.
There was $700,000 worth of damage.
The media has been relatively quiet about the hate crime and trans individuals have been wondering why the media has been so silent about such a heinous act of violence.
I spoke with Sophia Banks who, on Twitter, describes herself as a trans woman, queer, artist, writer, photographer, and advocate. I asked her, why are the media and police not concerned for the safety of trans peoples within this, refusing to name this as an act of anti-trans violence.
[Sophia Sound Bite]
VICE reported today that Canada will move forward in granting federal protections to prevent discrimination and violence against trans Canadians.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has said that legislation will come forward, set to coincide with May 17: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.
Banks questions such legislation and joins trans peoples across Canada in wondering what this will do to address the systemic issues trans people face every day like over-criminalization, poverty, and homelessness.
Paul Martin Says Canadians Aren’t Racist
In an interview Thursday with The Canadian Press Paul Martin was asked whether Canada harbors racist attitudes towards Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.
[Paul Martin Sound Bite]
Indigenous thinkers have clapped back, arguing this type of rhetoric is the very foundation of colonial dispossession within their communities.
Blogger, academic, teacher, and writer Chelsea Vowel said on Twitter, “Who has power within the systemic racism of Canada? Well…White people. Because Canada’s systemic racism is based on White supremacy.”
Here Vowel is acknowledging that the settler-colonial project is inherently built to uphold white supremacy, to disappear, erase, and dehumanize those peoples whose lands white Canadians seek to dispossess.
While Paul Martin has participated in so-called Indigenous advocacy and reconciliatory actions within his work, Indigenous peoples recognize there is a difference between settler led reconciliation efforts and those truly led by their communities.
Reconciliatory actions must acknowledge the Canadian government’s racist and genocidal history, and how those histories manifest today as contemporary racism, in order to heal Indigenous communities in self-determined ways.