Thanks to Anne’s comment on my post Identification, Sex Marker and Passport Canada I found out about their request for feedback with regards to new fees being proposed with the introduction of e-passports. I read through their proposal and sent a response:
To whom it may concern,
My name is Talia Johnson and I have some concerns about the new ePassport fees, in particular how they impact transsexual people who are in transition and currently are only permitted a two year passport.
Under Passport Canada’s current policies we are only allowed to get a two year passport that cannot be extended. this means that we will be paying $60 per year when the consular fees are included, whereas those who are able to obtain a full ten year passport will only be paying $16 per year.
If these changes take place without changes to the current discriminatory policies of Passport Canada those people who have transitioned, but are unable to have surgery, or are facing delays in having surgery will be facing discrimination to an even greater degree.
This week I received a reply from them that did not address the concern at all, passed the blame to another part of Passport Canada and was, in my opinion, rather insulting and dismissive:
Thank you for your correspondence.
As the issue you raise in your letter is related to entitlement policies, we have transferred your correspondence to the appropriate group. Someone from that group will get back to you soon.
Should you have additional input, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
I have not received a response from the group that he mentioned in this email, but it has been only a couple of business days at this point. Realistically I do not expect a response from them until January.
I am also composing a response to the email.
This is another example of why Bill C279 is so important. Rights for Transsexuals and Transgender people must be added to the human rights code. Once the protections are implemented in law getting policies changed will be easier, and challenges under the Canadian Human Rights Act will have a better chance at succeeding.
Bill C279 is currently awaiting second reading in the House of Commons.