I’m torn on this


This is an interesting article from the CBC news website today.  And while I find the circumstances upsetting I find myself unable to get too worked up over it.   In Ontario, where I live, trans people are now protected by law from the kind of discrimination displayed by this shopkeeper.  I can’t say whether the laws of Saskatchewan offer similar protections.  I would suspect that even if not specifically spelled out, the Human Rights Commission of Saskatchewan would cover the situation.   There is also a bill up for third reading in the House of Commons that would grant that protection federally.

My ambivalence in this is that while this lady does have the right not to be discriminated against, as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the shopkeeper also has the right to determine who she will and will not serve. Keep in mind this took place in a private establishment, not a public space.  Of course, since the incident has now received national, if not international coverage, the possibility exists she will lose business from the adverse publicity.

The reason I don’t feel I can comment further than I did above is that since I first began to transition in 1996, I have never faced this kind of discrimination.  In fact, I can’t think of a single incident of being refused service for being trans.  Whether that I live in smaller communities rather than in a city like Toronto has any bearing on it I can’t say.  Logically one would think I would have experienced less discrimination in a cosmopolitan area.  Perhaps just my size – 5’11” without the heels – had a dampening effect on any potential problems.  Or it could be that I was just careful about the establishments I’d frequent.  Even when driving a cab nights, the only problems I ever had were two occasions when male passengers got too friendly with their hands.  Both of them got left at the side of the road.

The shopkeeper was within her  rights when she refused service to this lady, but the reason behind that refusal was not only wrong, but illegal.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and freedom from discrimination) too.


Does it really make cents?

On Monday, February 4, the Canadian Mint is withdrawing the penny from circulation.  The reason given is it really serves no purpose any longer and costs 1.6 cents to make.  And of course, as with many decisions by government bodies, it is the citizens who will suffer for what passes as government wisdom.

In some to my mind convoluted reasoning, if you purchase something, say groceries, and the total bill comes to $50.93, if you pay by cash, that will be rounded up to $50.95, but if you use a debit or credit card, the total stays at $50.93.  If the total ends in one or two cents, it will be rounded down, at least in theory, but how many shopkeepers are going to pass up a chance to make a few extra cents on a transaction – not many I’ll wager.

I would presume that, as when they replaced the one and two dollar bills with coins, there will be a period when the bank will exchange them, which is good for I have about two dollars in pennies right now.

This appears to be part of some scheme the gov’t and the mint cooked up to revise our monetary system (or does that make me sound paranoid?).  They have replaced the $20, $50 and $100 bills with something made of some plastic compound, under the reasoning they last longer and will reduce costs.  There have also been rumblings in some circles close to Ottawa of plans to also discontinue the nickel.  Of course I suspect a decision on that will depend upon how much money we have left after they finish screwing us over with the pricing change caused by not having pennies.

On the lighter side, this means that phrases such as “a penny for your thoughts” or “a penny saved is a penny earned” will have no actual meaning in Canada any longer.  But then again, when Canada went metric, it didn’t change “a miss is as good as a mile”.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.