KELOWNA – The only standing ovation at tonight's town hall meeting with Justin Trudeau was for a young boy who didn’t even have a question for the Prime Minister.
His name is Tor, and he appears to be in high school, perhaps middle school.
“I’m trans,” he said. “And I’d just like to thank you and all the other MPs here for passing bill C16.”
Earlier this year, Trudeau's Liberal Party enacted additional protections under the Human Rights Act to protect citizens against discrimination by gender identity, among other protections.
Trudeau is in town for a two-day Liberal caucus retreat and strategy meeting with fellow federal Liberal MPs.
They face a host of issues including a controversial proposal to eliminate tax loopholes, Trudeau’s decision to pay millions in compensation to Omar Khadr, refugees and the Phoenix pay system, Canadian Press reports.
Sometimes seated on a stool, other times walking around, Trudeau took around half a dozen questions from the centre of the gymnasium at UBC Okanagan tonight, Sept. 6.
Questions touched on electoral reform, cost of prescription drugs, immigration, First Nations rights and health care, but the hundreds in attendance were loudest following young Tor’s short thank you near the end of the night.
“I love that, here tonight, I don’t even have to congratulate you for your courage because we’re all with you,” Trudeau told him. “Defending each other’s rights goes to the heart of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, goes to the heart of how we are as a country.
“To make sure that everyone is treated with respect, dignity and given all the opportunities regardless of where they’re from, what their religion is, who they choose to love.”
He also warned against a “rise of anti-immigration sentiment” and giving a platform to groups whose values do not represent Canadians.
"We need to stay focused on what matters most to Canadians, and that’s growing the economy and giving opportunities to the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
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