Sex-change plan nets complaint

EDMONTON — The fight against Alberta’s plan to remove health-care coverage for sex-change surgery began Wednesday when about three dozen people in Calgary and Edmonton filed human rights complaints against the government.

EDMONTON — The fight against Alberta’s plan to remove health-care coverage for sex-change surgery began Wednesday when about three dozen people in Calgary and Edmonton filed human rights complaints against the government.

“One down, much more to go,” Sarah King said after filing her complaint with Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission’s office in Edmonton.

King then headed off to her lawyer’s office to plan a class-action lawsuit.

Health Minister Ron Liepert’s decision Tuesday to allow a few more people to have their surgery paid for won’t stop the campaign against the move, said Jamie Grekul, one of the complainants.

“What about all the transgendered people who will come along in the coming years?” he said. “What do they have to look forward to?”

Last week, the Tory government revealed it was “delisting” gender reassignment surgery to save $700,000.

Activists argued that transgendered people were being singled out for a budget cut while overall health spending increased.

This week, Liepert said anyone who had begun the sex-change process — which includes hormone therapy and living for at least a year as the opposite sex — would be funded. But no new patients would be allowed into the process.

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