Canada’s federal government is standing by a directive it issued earlier this year instructing government employees to use gender-neutral language when interfacing with the public, despite drawing scorn from opposition politicians. The new guidelines were issued to Service Canada, the federal agency that assists Canadians with key government services and benefits.
The Canadian federal government has been making strides towards inclusivity. Last year, the government passed legislation to protect the transgender community from violence and discrimination, as well as joined a number of countries in allowing citizens to identify as “x” on their passports.
Canada’s minister of families, children and social development defended the guidelines on Twitter: “We are only confirming how people want to be addressed as a matter of respect. We are proud that Service Canada reflects the diversity of Canada’s population and is working to adapt to the reality of 21st–century families.”