Algonquin College Students

“Loved the workshop.  Thank You.”

“You are so knowledgeable and I hope that if I come across a child I can do it with your grace, knowledge, and acceptance.”

“Thank you for an awesome presentation! I loved hearing about Charlie and her journey.”

“Thanks so much for sharing your story!  I hope you continue to share this information and educate others, especially educators.”

“Thank you for addressing the Jordan Peterson question – very much appreciated.”

“I really appreciate that you often said that you let Charlie lead the way to everything.  That will stay with me in my role of parent and educator.”

“Very interesting.  Makes the subject very concrete and shows the importance of talking about Charlie’s story.  Thank you for sharing her and your story.”

A note from Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry, CHRC

April 27, 2017

Dear Miss Lowthian-Rickert:

On behalf of everyone here at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, I would like to personally thank you for allowing us to share your powerful story in our 2016 Annual Report to Parliament.  It is my honour to present you with your very own keepsake copy to share with friends and family.

Your story has captivated my heart, and the hearts of everyone at the Commission.  You were such an important part of our 2016 year!

I want to thank you, Charlie, for being so gracious and generous in sharing your story.  It is thanks to you that we are able to keep shedding light on the very important issue of trans rights in Canada.  I know your story will inspire people to tell their own story, and to keep this important conversation going across Canada.

On behalf of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, thank you again Charlie.  Keep telling your story, keep being you.  I can’t wait to see where life takes you next!  Wherever that is, we’ll all be cheering for you.

Yours sincerely,

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E.

Family Services of Ottawa

“I am the Director of Community Programs at Family Services Ottawa, an agency serving Ottawa for 100 years. I have written many reference letters over the years, but never for someone as young as Charlie.  She truly is an exception.  FSO is proud of the work that we do to support families and individuals.  It is particularly rewarding when some of those individuals, such as Charlie, have the courage and generosity to devote their time and energy to give back to our community.  If this is what Charlie has achieved by the age of 10, I want a front row seat to watch her over the next several years.”  Laurie Rektor

Senator Grant Mitchell congratulates Charlie in the Senate

Congratulations on Femmy Award

Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, today I rise to pay tribute to Charlie Lowthian-Rickert. Charlie has done and continues to do exceptional work to promote gender equality. In fact, Charlie is an 11-year-old trans-girl who wants to make the world a better place. She began identifying as a girl by age three. Despite her youth, she is no stranger to transgender activism.

In 2015, Charlie came to Parliament Hill, along with many friends from the LGBTQ community, and spoke on Parliament’s steps to encourage senators to pass Bill C-279.

In 2016, Charlie participated in the United Way’s Path to Pride Campaign. And last August she was chosen as Grand Marshal of Ottawa Capital Pride, the youngest person ever to receive this honour.

Last spring, she joined the Minister of Justice in the foyer of the House of Commons to help announce Bill C-16. The bill, as you know, is intended to protect individuals from discrimination within the sphere of federal jurisdiction and from being targets of hate propaganda as a consequence of their gender identity or their gender expression.

This past fall, Charlie participated in a film about Bill C-16 in cooperation with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and she is currently working on a number of other projects to improve awareness about gender diversity and support Camp Ten Oaks and Family Services of Ottawa.

Charlie continues to visit churches, schools, organizations and agencies to encourage more children to be unafraid to use their voices and to help adults understand gender variance in children.

Today, on International Women’s Day, Charlie will be receiving a special award in recognition of her remarkable efforts. The Femmy Awards honour people located in the National Capital Region who have made outstanding contributions to the ongoing struggle for gender equality.

As Charlie grows up, she wants to continue advocating for transgender rights and may consider running to become a member of Parliament. Perhaps one day she’ll arrive in the Senate.

In her own words, Charlie says she has met people who don’t accept her for who she is, but “it’s probably because they don’t understand. They don’t know, and they don’t know how to react. So I’d like to teach them.”

I ask all honourable senators to join me in congratulating Charlie Lowthian-Rickert on earning this Femmy Award and thanking her for her tireless efforts to promote gender equality.


Canada’s Justice Minister and Attorney General

Jody Wilson-Raybould

Introducing the first Indigenous person to be justice minister and attorney general.

She isn’t sure exactly when it happened, but at some point in 2016 the realization began to sink in for Jody Wilson-Raybould that she is the first Indigenous person to be appointed justice minister and attorney general of Canada. She can, though, think of two standout moments from last year: “the emotion that was felt by all when we launched MMIWG [the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls]” and when she met Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, a trans tween, just prior to the introduction of Bill C-16, which would make it illegal to discriminate against gender-diverse Canadians. “For me, Charlie and her parents are the embodiment of a Canada that celebrates diversity and embraces acceptance,” says Wilson-Raybould.(Christina Reynolds)