Canadian Government: Address the Aeronautics Act, which may ban trans people from flying
  • Petitioned The Honourable Denis Lebel

This petition was delivered to:

Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
The Honourable Denis Lebel
Director of Policy at the Ministry of Transport
Adam Blinick

Canadian Government: Address the Aeronautics Act, which may ban trans people from flying

    1. Mercedes Allen
    2. Petition by

      Mercedes Allen

      Calgary, Canada

We feel that it's important for Transport Canada and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to address Section 5.2 (1) (c) of Canada's "Aeronautics Act," which requires that an airline not transport a person unless they "appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents" -- a condition which could be interpreted to prevent some transsexual, transgender and/or intersex people and other gender non-conforming Canadian citizens from air travel.

These revisions require that the gender marker on a person's identification must be deemed to match a subjective assessment of a person's gender, in order for a person to be able to board a plane in Canada. It's premature to call this an outright ban, but with the language of the revised legislation, a ban on air travel is certainly possible, and perhaps even inevitable at some point in time.

While there is an exemption made for medical issues, which would assist transsexed individuals undergoing a medical transition, this exemption currently appears only to resolve the appearance-to-photograph requirement of Section 5.2 (1) (a) -- the gender marker requirement is not specifically mentioned at all, so at the very least the wording is flawed.

Not all transsexual people are able to obtain this kind of documentation, in order to be compliant, if this exemption does indeed allow them to fly. Additionally, many transgender people are not undergoing a medical process, and could be barred from air travel by this wording. People who are visibly intersexed or Canadians who don't identify as trans but are otherwise gender non-conforming could also be singled out.

We understand the necessity of air travel security and screening. We do not, however, understand why a gender marker comparison must be a requirement in order to determine an individual's identity, and why a person whose gender defies stereotypes and expectations (physical or otherwise) should be technically vulnerable to a breach of their Charter right to travel.

July 2011 changes made to the Aeronautics Act:

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. Canadian MPs Snicker & Mock Trans Airport Screening Concerns

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Mercedes posted a blog at Bilerico Project about an "outrageous" show of disrespect from conservative MPs who were reportedly "snickering" about the potential harm this rule change could cause trans people.

    3. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • over 2 years ago

      Because I'd like the same right to travel as every other Canadian.

    • Kris Rieck SALEM, OR
      • over 2 years ago

      Gender variance is very real; there are more than 2 genders as science and biology have proven. What we need are more gender categories on our official identity papers, not more oppression.

    • Philip Brennan KENAI, AK
      • over 2 years ago

      I have no problems with anyone who feels like dressing up like the opposite sex. HOWEVER, I do understand the POINT of a picture ID is to provide evidence that you are who you claim to be. When you purposely put on a face to alter your appearance (different from your government ID) you are obviously making it harder for officials to identify you. While I am a huge supporter of ALL human rights, I'm having a hard time seeing the problem. I'm still signing the petition. However, you should all think about this. The point of your picture ID is to look at your picture, look at you, and say: "Yep, that's you alright."

    • Natasha Forney CASPER, WY
      • over 2 years ago

      Who has the right classify us? We are who we are and no one should disclaim us for being different!

    • Colliaux Andrea PARIS, FRANCE
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm a transgender air hostess.


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