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Ontario must act on transgender health

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Transgender individuals are not receiving adequate health care in Ontario. While most have many of the same health needs as the rest of the public, some require unique forms of care that they are unable to access.

A holistic approach must be adopted to reduce the overwhelming inequity and discrimination of community faces. This sort of approach considers the intersectionality of social identities and how these identities create barriers to health care. Stigma based on gender identity may be exacerbated by factors such as race, age, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

To fight this, Ontario must adopt specific policies, programs and services to address the existing health disparities between the transgender community and the general population. The first step is to adopt the Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act. By shifting the narrative and making health care for the transgender community more accessible, the inequalities such as the disproportionate rate of homelessness, the higher risk of HIV, and negative impacts on mental health among transgender individuals will decrease.

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It’s time to make universal health care universal for all.

Evan Young, Ottawa

Can the LRT even be saved?

Re: Where’s the accountability for Ottawa’s ongoing LRT disaster? Feb. 11.

So much has been said and written about the LRT’s woes. The commentary has been mostly about what went wrong, who is to blame and what should be done next time. The question that the Ottawa council really needs to address is whether or not the LRT is salvageable?

Alstom’s lead engineer tested before the commission of inquiry in June that the “track gauge — the distance between the rails — is narrow.” This causes vibration on the train bogies that hold the wheels and axle components. Thus the trains are compelled to crawl through any bend or curve in the track. Rapid transit, it is not.

Add this to the numerous other difficulties confronting the LRT. Is it not time to throw in the towel and bury the whole project before countless more millions, or billions, are poured down the drain? As former regional chair Andy Haydon asked from the start: “What’s wrong with the buses?”

Andrew Lumsden, Ottawa