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Ontario Public Service (OPS) Gender Identity Policy: OHRC letter to Minister MacCharles

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June 15, 2017

Hon. Tracy MacCharles
Minister of Government and Consumer Services
Mowat Block 6th Flr
900 Bay St, Toronto, ON
M7A 1L2

Dear Minister MacCharles:

Re:  OPS Gender Identity Policy

I trust this finds you well. I am writing to commend you on your Ministry’s leadership in development of the new OPS Gender Identity Policy - Gender Identity and Sex Information on Public-Facing Government Products and Forms, and to call on you to build on this important work by removing other human rights barriers that face people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions across government.

The new policy addresses key human rights concerns that the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has heard from the community over the years. We are also pleased that other ministries will consult with stakeholders as they develop plans and implement changes to comply with the new policy, as this will be critical to successful and respectful implementation. 

This policy is an important first step toward removing systemic barriers, and we encourage you to build on this important work by working across government on a framework to support gender neutral policies within government and across the broader public service. We are encouraged that your 2016 mandate letter envisions this ongoing work.

As one of the largest and most progressive employers and service providers in the province, the Ontario Public Service has demonstrated that it can be a leader in respecting and promoting the rights of trans and gender-diverse people and a model for other Canadian jurisdictions.

We look forward to hearing about progress as the government works toward advancing the Code-protected rights of this community.  Thank you again for your important leadership.


Renu Mandhane, B.A., J.D., LL.M.
Chief Commissioner
Ontario Human Rights Commission

cc: Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General
Ontario Human Rights Commissioners