Rob Anders appeared on Sun News on Friday where his petition to stop what he calls the transgender "bathroom bill" was praised by host Brian Lilley.
In a segment title "Flush The 'Bathroom Bill,'" Anders outlined the reasons for his opposition to private member's Bill C-279, which 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. Sun News ran a segment earlier in the week attacking the Toronto District School Board for a new set of guidelines which will allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
"Whether or not you have the plumbing of a man or not, whether or not you're taking hormone injections, whether or not you're just dressing and wearing a wig or wearing a women's dress or wearing lipstick [the legislation] doesn't specify. So basically if a man is feeling as though he is a woman he will have access to women's bathrooms. I think that puts women and girls at risk," Anders said.
Lilley linked the issue to a the case of Wayne Alan Cunningham, a man found dead this week who had been charged in the sexual assault and confinement of a teen in Nova Scotia. Cunningham sometimes dressed as a woman, according to police.
"Why would we lower people's natural defences of a man going into a woman's bathroom in order to accomodate this very, very small part of the population?" Anders asked.
Anders seemed to suggest that a man dressed as a woman would be able to legally peep on women in a bathroom under the new bill. Lilley was quick to point out that while that may not be the intent of the bill, it could be a side effect.
The Victoria MP has said the bill is not about access to bathrooms and that Anders' petition is based on "ignorance, misinformation and fear," according to The Canadian Press.
"Unfortunately this is what we have come to expect from Mr. Anders. Perhaps it is time for his weekly apology," said Garrison, referencing the MP's recent contrition after suggesting NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair helped "hasten" Jack Layton's death.
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 told CBC.
Anders' appearance on Sun News comes after a bad week for the Calgary West MP which has led some to speculate that he may be on his way out of the Tory caucus. CBC's Rex Murphy called for Anders' resignation on "The National" on Thursday.
However, according to a story in the Calgary Herald, Anders still has the support of his riding association.
Anders won Calgary West with more than 62 per cent of the vote in 2011, nearly 45 points ahead of his nearest competitor.
With files from CBC and The Canadian Press