Calgary MP Rob Anders has once again drawn criticism for controversial comments, this time about the transgender community.
Anders wants to stop Bill C279, a private member's bill that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and hate crime section of the Criminal Code to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" as grounds for discrimination.
He says the bill's goal is to give transgendered men access to women's washrooms, which has led it to be nicknamed the "bathroom bill" proposal.
He said it’s the duty of the House of Commons to protect children from any exposure or harm that will come from giving men this kind of access.
Anders sent a letter and a petition to a local church, urging the pastor to distribute it. The petition can also be found on Anders' website.
MP Randall Garrison, the NDP representative for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca in B.C., introduced the bill.
He said the comments made by Anders were either made out of ignorance or he is trying to spread fear about transgendered people by equating them to sexual predators.
"He clearly doesn't understand the basic concepts to do with transgender Canadians," said Garrison.
He said the bill fills a gap because there are legal questions about whether transgendered people are included in protections that are available to all other Canadians.
Garrison said the bill is expected to come back to the justice committee in November, and since 150 MPs have previously voted in favour of the bill he doesn't believe this type of argument will have any sway.
"I guess it's what I've come to expect from Mr. Anders ... time for his weekly apology," he said.
Transgender advocates outraged
Kelly Ernst, senior program director of the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership, agrees that Anders' petition raises a stereotype that has no basis in fact.
"When you read the petition and bill side by side you understand that the petition really has nothing to do with the intent of the bill," he said.
He said the proposed legislation change only brings the language of the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act up to the standard used in courtrooms and human right commissions that recognize people with different gender identities have equal rights.
Transgender advocate Jan Buterman says he can't believe what Anders is implying with his petition.
"The suggestion that this is somehow some … conspiracy of trans people to sneak into bathrooms deliberately to harm people — it’s ludicrous," Buterman says.
"Trans people have been using bathrooms all over Canada for decades with, as far as I know, zero evidence of any incidents whatsoever."
Anders declined a request from CBC News for an interview on the issue.
Earlier this week, Anders apologized for saying Tom Mulcair hastened the death of former NDP leader Jack Layton.
Earlier on HuffPost:
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/04/rob-anders-transgender-bill-c270_n_1939007.html?ref=topbar" target="_hplink">Anders faced harsh criticism after posting a petition on his website opposing what he calls the "bathroom bill."</a> The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/04/rob-anders-transgender-bathroom_n_1941280.html" target="_hplink">legislation in question would would give the transgender people greater protection under human rights law</a>, but Anders' position expressed fears that it will allow transgender men to use women's washrooms, which could put children at risk. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/04/rob-anders-transgender-washrooms-bathrooms_n_1939364.html" target="_hplink">Twitter users in particular were outraged by Anders' stance</a>. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/20/transgender-rights-bill-canada-passes-tories_n_2919264.html" target="_blank">The bill was approved by the House of Commons in March, 2013.</a>
Mulcair 'Hastened' Layton's Death
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/01/rob-anders-layton-mulcair_n_1928965.html" target="_hplink">Anders was denounced by politicians and pundits after he suggested in an interview that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair helped to "hasten" Jack Layton's death</a>. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/01/rob-anders-apology-jack-layton_n_1929537.html" target="_hplink">Anders apologized soon after</a>, but his contrition has not stopped many from calling for his resignation.
War Of 1812 And 'Islamic Terrorism'
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/13/rob-anders-newsletter-1812-terrorism_n_1880913.html?utm_hp_ref=rob-anders" target="_hplink">Anders was denounced by the Canadian Islamic Conference</a> after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/10/rob-anders-newsletter-1812-islamic-terror-war_n_1872170.html?utm_hp_ref=rob-anders" target="_hplink">sending out a newsletter to constituents which compared the War of 182 to the fight against "Islamic terrorism."</a>
Attacks Tony Clement And Own Party
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/13/rob-anders-tony-clement-norman-bethune_n_1671147.html" target="_hplink">Anders lashed out on Sun News at Tony Clement and his own party after the Treasury Board President paid tribute to Norman Bethune</a>, a Canadian doctor who has become a hero in China but who was also a card-carrying communist.
Premier Alison Redford
During the 2003 Calgary West riding nomination, in which he was up against now Alberta Premier Alison Redford, Anders said he had the win in the bag, unless Calgary lawyer Redford, "got some magic support base of people who like feminist lawyers."
Calgary West Riding Association
Rob Anders has been embroiled in at least two party nomination fights, in which his riding association and others running for Anders’ seat have claimed the party has ‘stacked the odds’ in favour of the incumbent, while also refusing to disclose the reasons why other Tories wanting to run for the seat have been unable to do so. In 2010, 24 of the 32-member riding board quit over one of those disputes.
Rob Anders was booted off a veterans committee this spring. Anders called committee members NDP "hacks" who praised Vladimir Putin after they claimed publicly the Calgary MP fell asleep during committee presentations. The members he attacked are Canadian Forces members who volunteer their own time and money to help.
Asleep in the Commons
Nov 17, 2012. Anders is famously caught on TV sleeping and head-bobbing during House of Commons question period. The video goes viral.
Probably his most infamous moment - Rob Anders calls Nelson Mandela a Communist and a terrorist and is the only Parliamentarian to vote against making the South African human rights leader and former president an honourary Canadian in 2001.
'Pull The Trigger'
In 2010, in a card supporting Canadian troops, Anders wrote: "When in doubt, pull the trigger." The Department of National Defence distanced itself from the remarks.
"All I can say on citizenship at birth is that Australia requires at least one parent to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident for the child to qualify. It is something we should consider as well." On preventing children in Canada from having automatic citizenship.
In 2001, then Veterans' Affairs Minister John McCallum famously refers to Anders as being politically "... to the right of Atilla the Hun."