Canada: 'We see serious progress': Activist welcomes new VPD rules for processing transgender community members

The Vancouver Police Department adopted new rules Thursday to define how its members are to interact with transgender people who end up in police custody.

The new rules specifically address the point at which a suspect is taken into custody, searched and transported to jail and the period immediately following arrest.

"Sadly, there have been numerous problems in a number of police departments … like people not believing you when you say you're a woman or you say you're a man, like the Angela Dawson case," said Morgane Oger, the chair of the Trans Alliance Society of British Columbia.

The move is, in part, a reaction to the 2015 B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision which awarded trans community member Angela Dawson $15,000 in damages and rebuked the VPD for its repeated violations of Dawson's rights. 

A year after that ruling, the Vancouver Police Board adopted a policy that officers refer to trans individuals by their preferred names and pronouns.

Thursday's changes go further by allowing transgender people to maintain access to prosthetics such as wigs or breast forms and letting trans people decide the gender with which they'd like to be housed.

"This is going to spread across Metro Vancouver," Oger told Gloria Macarenko, guest host of CBC's On the Coast.

Read more via CBC