If Canada Deports This Trans Irish Woman, Is She Screwed?

Generally we’ll hear about somebody from Africa or the Middle East fleeing to Europe to avoid persecution. But Tanya Bloomfield, an Ireland-born trans woman living in Nova Scotia, says she needs to stay in Canada because she faces oppression at home.

Bloomfield says she’s been denied a renewal of her temporary residence permit, and if she isn’t successful in appealing it she’ll claim refugee status based on being transgender, reports CBC. “This is just the latest temporary residence permit that we’ve applied for, which they’re now questioning and wishing to issue the voluntary departure order on,” she says. “I have a lot invested in Canada. I have a lot of friends here, I have a business.”

But is Europe really the bastion of oppression Bloomfield claims? She insists there’s a higher frequency of of queer-related attacks in the European Union than in Canada, which is the crucial element to her case. In Ireland at least, gender reassignment procedures are not recognized, the the court case involving a one Lydia Foy, which would’ve taken the issue to the Supreme Court, was dropped by the government with the intention of introducing legislation to ban it.

If Bloomfield’s asylum request is granted, she’ll have another 18 months to stay in Canada (not for good?). Otherwise she must be gone by August.

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  • Kevin

    Sorry, lady, you don’t get to be a “refugee” just because of slightly higher rates of violence and a somewhat less liberal government. To grant this request would cheapen the term.

  • Steve

    This is nonsense. As a citizen of the European Union, she can move anywhere within the EU with little trouble. She may have a point that she has some problems in Ireland, but that does not necessarily apply to other European countries.

  • Paul

    It is highly unlikely that she would be able to succeed on a claim for refugee status from Ireland, which is pretty progressive in terms of laws and social attitudes. Contrary to your report, the Irish Government has withdrawn it’s earlier opposition to giving legal recognition to gender changes & is expected to introduce legislation to that effect. Also, there must be an error in your reporting about the benefits available to people granted asylum or refugee status: it is indefinite, not granted for an 18 month period.

  • Pidge

    Sorry guys, you’ve got that completely wrong. The Lydia Foy case was dropped because – at the insistence of the Green Party – legislation is being introduced to fully recognise gender realigment. There is only partial state recognition now, but birth certs can’t be changed, which is the issue in the Foy case and the upcoming legislation.

    This is a bizarre, opportunistic attempt for someone to try and stay in Canada to run her business.

  • Pidge

    Also, the Irish government pay for gender realignment surgery across the country. My understanding is that it’s not universally available in Canada (only in some provinces).

  • heady

    This isn’t even about the republic its about Northern Ireland so why your talking about the South baffles me. Regardless this is a blatant disregard for people who actually have a legitimate life threatening situation.

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