Issue 15, Volume 85
Oct. 10, 2012
A quick trip over to Rob Anders Wikipedia page will reveal that there is an entire section dedicated to controversies surrounding the Conservative Calgary West MP.
While politicians face a level of public scrutiny that some celebrities don’t even attain, the fact that this man is consistently able to put himself at odds against certain communities, groups and issues speaks volumes to his character.
The latest controversy to adorn Anders’ wiki page surrounds his statements regarding Bill C279, which if passed, would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and hate crime section of the Criminal Code to include both ‘gender identity’ and
‘gender expression’ as legitimate grounds for discrimination.
There are countless individuals in this country that would benefit from Bill C279 as it would provide them with an added level of protection, one which is on par with the protections already guaranteed to Canadian citizens as a whole.
Anders, though, opposed the bill.
The illustrious member of Parliament believes that the bill equates to a “bathroom bill” which would allow for trans men to access women’s bathrooms.
Anders is circulating a petition to the House of Commons that claims that “it is the duty of the House of Commons to protect and safeguard our children from any exposure and harm that will come from giving a man access to women’s public washroom facilities.”
Anders chooses to ignore— or perhaps he is so willfully naive— the fact that the majority of trans people, who are dressing as a member of the sex which they internally identify with, are already presumably using the bathroom of
their internal self.
Unless as a country we are experiencing high rates of sexual assault against children in women’s bathrooms by transgendered males who are dressing as women— which simply is not the case— then this is not an issue, and Anders should publicly state his true intention in attempting to block this bill.
Whether or not Anders actually believes the vitriolic verbal diarrhea which he spews forth is aside from the point. This man— an elected member of Parliament at the federal level— has suggested, in public, that the aim of Bill C279 is to allow for trans men to enter women’s bathrooms and presumably assault children in some way.
He has ignored the fact that trans individuals are routinely discriminated against and have no legal mechanism to protect themselves. He has ignored the trials and tribulations which trans people face from ignorant, simpleminded people such as him. He has ignored the great tradition of our country that is to extend rights upon its citizens, not to limit or oppress its citizens.
But again, none of this should come as a surprise.
Just earlier this week, Anders apologized to New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair and Jack Layton’s family for suggesting that Mulcair helped to hasten Layton’s death by making it clear that if Layton was unable to fight in the federal
election he should have step down.
Suggesting that Mulcair helped to hasten the death of Layton, whether founded upon facts or not, is a grotesquely unacceptable statement to be made in a civilized society To invoke the death of Jack Layton to elicit a brief political jab at the current
federal NDP leader is reprehensible.
Anders was the sole politician to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen in 2001 due to his belief that Mandela was a communist and a terrorist. Aggravated that China was to host the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Anders compared China to Hitler’s Germany under Nazi rule.
On a card addressed to Canadian troops and displayed in the lobby of the House of Commons, Anders simply wrote “When in doubt, pull the trigger.” And while Anders wrote in support of the troops on that card, he was removed from the Veteran’s Affairs Committee because he texted, fell asleep and arrived late to meetings.
Unfortunately, Anders is very well liked in his riding in Calgary. In 1997, his popular vote percentage was just 51.79 per cent whereas, following a steady stream of controversies, it rose to 58.7 per cent in 2006.
Perhaps Anders isn’t simply a lone politician voicing his illogical rants in the great public forum that is Parliament; or rather, perhaps it is that Anders represents the accepted ideology that runs throughout Calgary
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.