The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says a trans woman was blatantly discriminated against when the Northwest Territories’ finance minister allegedly asked her to leave her Fort Smith college campus Dec 9.
Gabrielle Landrie, who is a math and business student at Aurora College, told the CBC that Michael Miltenberger asked her to leave when she was standing near a computer lab with a friend.
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, director of CCLA’s equality program, calls Landrie’s treatment “clearly unacceptable.”
“I can’t comment on the facts, but it certainly seems like an egregious and blatant form of discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” says Mendelsohn Aviv. “I thought that we were decades beyond this discrimination. But we’re not when it comes to sexual orientation and gender.”
At the time, Governor General David Johnston was touring the school on an official visit hosted by Miltenberger, who allegedly rerouted Johnston’s tour to avoid the sight of Landrie.
Landrie told the CBC that Miltenberger asked her three times to “leave the premises.” When she asked why, he said, “You spooked the governor general, so you have to leave.”
Xtra was unable to contact Landrie or Miltenberger.
The incident prompted Landrie to file a human rights complaint because she believes she was discriminated against because she is trans. She told the CBC the incident was extremely hurtful.
The governor general’s office says it did reroute Johnston’s exit from the building, but because the event at the college went longer than expected and not because of Landrie.
Miltenberger refused to comment to the CBC.