Manitoba group wants size discrimination protection included in Human Rights Code

Winnipeggers stepped out Wednesday to stand up against what they say is a loophole in our Human Rights Code that allows for discrimination.

The Manitobans Against Weight Stigma organized a rally at the Manitoba Legislative Building, supporting a private members’ bill put forward by Liberal MLA Jon Gerrard.

Bill 216 seeks to amend the Human Rights Code by adding the additional clause “physical size or weight,” to conditions protected from discrimination.

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Event organizer and dietitian Lindsey Mazer said the bill sends an important message.

“This law will ensure that qualified applicants of larger bodies or short stature for jobs will be able to get those jobs and can’t be discriminated against based on their height and weight. It sends a huge message to society that people will no longer tolerate this form of bullying, harassment or discrimination based on size and weight,” she said.

Mazer said she was frustrated last November when the bill was voted down.

“It was a horrible disappointment,” she said. “Some of the stereotypes of a larger body is that they are unhealthy or don’t eat well. We know many folks in larger bodies do eat well and are healthy. Just as folks in thin bodies may not be healthy and eat well.”

The bill will be voted on Oct. 25.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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