For Anne Lowthian of the Ottawa area, her protest is a fight for the rights of her 9-year-old transgender daughter, Charlie.
I have never been in a men's washroom. I don't belong in men's washroom.
Neither does Charlie.
Charlie is referring to the danger of being a woman in a men's public restroom, which the mothers intend to do until an amendment to Bill C-279 referred to as the "bathroom bill" is withdrawn. Lowthian will be joined in Ottawa by another mother at the Museum of Nature for a noon protest. Two mothers in Toronto and two in Saskatoon will stage simultaneous protests.
Bill C-279 was intended to protect transgender people from discrimination. It passed the House of Commons two years ago. Last month Senator Don Plett attached three amendments to the bill. The "bathroom bill" amendment would prevent members of the transgender community from using public restrooms in federal spaces.
Charlie's mom says if passed, it would prevent Charlie from using the women's restroom, in places like the airport, post offices and military bases even though Charlie identifies as a girl.
Senator Plett says that the amendment in question is not about access to bathrooms, but rather about the safety of young children in public restrooms.
Whether or not it is called 'the bathroom bill, it allows for pedophiles to take advantage of legislation that we have in place.
I see it as transphobic. it makes me a second class citizen, it makes me someone not allowed to use same facilities anyone else in Canadian society and why not? Why shouldn't I be able to use the same facilities? We're not causing difficulties.
--Amanda Ryan, transgender activist in Ottawa
Charlie's mother has vowed to use the men's washrooms in public until this amendment is quashed. It's a fight she's willing to make for the sake of her daughter.
We are inspired by our daughter. She is a miracle to us and has been since day she was born.