Government email exchanges exclusively obtained by True North show managers at the Department for Women and Gender Equality fretting over complaints from the public about being misgendered by the federal government. 

One member of the public whose name has been redacted wrote to former minister for women and gender equality Maryam Monsef calling on her department to “provide education” to federal departments “so they can stop misgendering me.” 

“Can you please provide education to the NSLSC National Student Loans Service Centre so they can stop misgendering me,” the email reads. 

“Previously, I have explained my pronouns as (redacted) but they have ignored my request…It was explained I would have to call back because the NSLSC could not help me because my matter is with upper management. I explained calling back I would face even more discrimination on the phone.” 

Apparently the matter was of such importance that department managers opened a file on the matter and assigned a worker to it. 

“Please open a correspondence docket for this,” wrote federal manager Carolyn Penney. 

In a subsequent correspondence, the member of the public complained that they were even misgendered by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which is tasked with enforcing protections for gender diverse individuals. 

“I can not get an answer about my National Student Loans, instead I have been misgendered by National Student Loans and even our own Canadian Human Rights Commission misgendered me,” the email reads. 

“I know when I am being treated unfairly,” it continues. “Being misgendered more than a dozen times and having my identity questioned.” 

The exchange eventually led to a formal letter sent to the complainant signed by assistant deputy minister for women and gender equality Nancy Gardiner assuring the individual that their concerns were forwarded to former minister of social development Jean-Yves Duclos. 

“While I am not in a position to comment on personal situations, I have taken the liberty of sharing your message with the Office of the Honourably Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Minister Duclos is responsible for the Canada Student Loans program,” wrote Gardiner. 

First requested on June 10, 2020, the documents were finally released by the department under the Access to Information Act on Friday. 

As exclusively reported by True North in February, even Global Affairs Canada (GAC) seems to be preoccupied with the nuances of microaggressions and “ambient bigotry.” 


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