Trans Woman Settles Human Rights Case with City of Hamilton

The City of Hamilton reached an agreement to settle a human rights application involving a trans woman who was denied access to the women’s washroom at the MacNab Bus Terminal in Hamilton by a City employee. The trans woman was provided access to the family washroom.

The City of Hamilton recognizes the right of trans people set out in Ontario’s Human Rights Code which includes the right to access facilities in accordance with their self-identified gender identity. The City is committed to communicating that a trans person will not be required to use a separate facility because of the preferences or negative attitudes of others.  The City is committed to providing accommodation options for washrooms and change rooms on an individualized basis.

As part of the resolution of the human rights application, the City of Hamilton has agreed to codify these principles into written policy, train its employees on the policy and post signage confirming its commitment to providing safe and accessible washroom/changeroom spaces for all. The City of Hamilton and its employees are committed to providing services and facilities to its citizens in a manner consistent with all legislative requirements, including the Human Rights Code of Ontario, as it applies to all grounds, including gender identity and gender expression.

“Taking legal action doesn’t make the pain go away, but I hope employees will be more aware and respectful in the future,” said the applicant, who was not named to protect her privacy.

Clara Matheson, the applicant’s lawyer from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre commented, “We were pleased to facilitate this agreement with the municipality.  Policies and procedures that serve to protect the rights of trans persons in accessing facilities lead the way to a more inclusive environment in which people can thrive.”