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Available Expert - Service Canada makes decision on gender-neutral language

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Queen’s University gender expert Lee Airton is available to comment on Service Canada’s decision to ask its employees to adopt gender-neutral language when interacting with the public. The move is seen as a step toward greater inclusivity, while members of the political opposition mocked the policy.

“Service Canada’s decision on gender-neutral language will benefit many different groups of Canadians,” says Dr. Airton. “Using a client’s full name or asking how they would prefer to be addressed is a strategy that meets everyone’s needs, including but not limited to transgender people. For example, if a client has a name that is not obviously gendered to an Anglophone or Francophone Service Canada employee, asking will ensure that this person is correctly addressed. This is the government setting an example for other large institutions across the country.”

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