Nova Scotia to unveil gender option changes for identity documents

The province will make an announcement on the changes on Tuesday.
The province will make an announcement on the changes on Tuesday. Don Mitchell / Global News

Nova Scotia says it will unveil further changes to the gender options on the province’s identity documents.

Patricia Arab, the minister for Service Nova Scotia and Internal Affairs, will make the announcement at Halifax’s downtown library on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the province says the new changes will expand on a September announcement of measures giving Nova Scotians who don’t exclusively identify as male or female the option of choosing ‘X’ on their birth certificates.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia to allow ‘X’ as gender option on birth certificates

The new changes will “include other identity documents from government,” the spokesperson said Monday.

Geoff MacLellan, the then-minister for Service Nova Scotia, said in September the earlier changes were about making Nova Scotia more inclusive and were “the right thing to do.”

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The September announcement also unveiled amendments to the Vital Statistics Act that made the display of the sex field optional on birth certificates, and waived the $24.95 fee to change the sex indicator.

Another change removed the requirement for anyone 16 or older to get a statement from a health professional to change the sex indicator on their birth certificate.

Watch: New Brunswickers who want to apply to have their gender changed on their birth certificate can now do so

Click to play video 'N.B. birth certificate gender change' N.B. birth certificate gender change
N.B. birth certificate gender change – Feb 5, 2018

At the time, Nova Scotia joined Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, Yukon and the Northwest Territories in offering ‘X’ as an option for gender identity.

Saskatchewan and Ontario have the option to not display the sex field on birth certificates, while the federal government uses ‘X’ on passports.

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MacLellan said about 100 people applied to make the gender change in 2017.