JusticeTrans endeavours to alleviate issues of access to justice for the transgender community by empowering community members through legal knowledge.
JusticeTrans is a mobile phone application and website offering free legal information about transgender rights across Canada. The LITE version of the website and application launched in June 2015 and were covered by The Coast and Buzzfeed Canada. The full version of the application is slated for a 2016 release. The full version will cover more areas of law and in greater depth, including employment, family, housing, criminal and sex work laws. JusticeTrans was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in June 2015. It currently has a three member Board of Directors.
Access to justice is a problem faced by many communities in Canada. In 2007, Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry was quoted as saying that access to justice is the most important issue facing the legal system. The cost of legal proceedings can be prohibitive for many individuals, so much so that legal issues are going unresolved or litigants are opting for self-representation before the courts. The transgender community in Canada is one of the most under-served and oppressed populations. A study conducted in 2010, called the Trans PULSE Survey, unveiled staggering statistics about life in Ontario for trans-identified individuals. Of the 433 respondents, approximately 50% earned less than $15,000 per year. 13-28% reported being fired because of their gender identity, and another 18-50% reported being unemployed because of it. 10% had been refused emergency room care because of their gender identity. Other issues faced by the community included access to housing and adequate medical care, police harassment, imprisonment, engagement in sex work, and a high rate of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Finally, nearly two thirds of respondents reported avoiding public spaces for fear of discrimination.