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B.C. wants to ‘get it right’ on gender-neutral IDs, but it’s not rushing: health minister

Joshua Ferguson.
Joshua Ferguson. Brian Beard

The B.C. government won’t rush to decide how to address the issue of gender markers on identification.

That’s after one Vancouverite wasn’t allowed to use “X” as a gender marker on a combined driver’s licence/B.C. Services Card after an application was rejected last month.

READ MORE: B.C. government still wants male or female designation on BC Health Card and driver’s licence

Joshua M. Ferguson, whose ID is designated male, but who doesn’t identify as a man or a woman, said legal action is possible.

But Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province is looking at Ontario, Newfoundland and even the federal government’s recent decision on passports before moving forward.

“Other provinces have been working on the issue for longer than us, and we want to make sure we get it right,” he said.

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READ MORE: B.C. baby first to get health card without gender marker

Dix notes there isn’t uniformity on this issue even within the transgender community, with some people preferring to leave the gender marker blank.

“I know that some people are frustrated that it hasn’t already happened, and I appreciate their frustration, but I want them to know, we’re working on this,” he said.

The debate over the use of gender-neutral identification has intensified in recent months.

Earlier this summer, a B.C. baby became the first person in Canada to be issued a health card without a gender designation.

And at the end of August, the federal government announced Canadians would be able to have an “X” put in place of gender in their passports.