2021 Census data offers snapshot of transgender and non-binary population for first timeApril 29, 2022
According to the 2021 Census, 2,530 people in Saskatchewan (nearly 1 in 300) aged 15 and over identify as transgender or non-binary.
With the release of the census, Canada became the first country in the world to collect and report the number of people who identify specifically as transgender or non-binary. Statistics Canada says this new way of reporting information is important because the way Canadians are identifying themselves is evolving, and the census needs to reflect that.
The release of this demographic data is a reminder to individuals, employers, and organizations that transgender and non-binary persons are part of a defined and identifiable population within the diversity of Saskatchewan. As such, The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code protects the inherent dignity and equality of transgender and non-binary persons, just as it does for all members of the human family.
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, for its part, continues to protect and promote the rights of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people in Saskatchewan.
In 2014, the Commission worked with the Government of Saskatchewan to amend The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code to include gender identity as a prohibited ground. This change to the Code clarified that, by law, transgender, non-binary, two-spirited, and gender non-conforming people were protected against discrimination.
Since 2014, the Commission accepted and resolved numerous human rights complaints based on gender identity that have led to substantive change:
- In 2016, the Court of Queen’s Bench issued a consent order in response to a human rights complaint filed with the Commission. As a result of the order, transgender adults in Saskatchewan who want the gender designation on their birth certificate changed no longer require surgery to receive new identification.
- In 2018, two human rights complaints resulted in a court order to allow for people under the age of 18 to apply for changes to the gender marker on their birth certificate, and required the Government to allow for “M” and “F” designations to be removed.
- In 2022, a human rights complaint filed with the Commission resulted in Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) implementing changes so that Saskatchewan residents are now be able to request the gender field on their driver’s licence (or SGI-issued photo identification) be left blank.
In addition to appropriate case resolution, the Commission also works with community groups and stakeholders to address human rights issues and explore opportunities for education. Most recently the Commission offered support for JusticeTrans’ pilot project which provides community and arts-based public legal education and information for two spirit, transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming (2STNBGN) people in Saskatchewan.