Flat White

Missing woman: found

3 July 2022

4:00 AM

3 July 2022

4:00 AM

The Toronto Police Service put out a press release on June 30 appealing for help locating a ‘missing woman’.

‘Isobella Degrace [pictured] 27, was last seen on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 3am in the Ryerson Avenue and Bathurst Street area.

‘She is described as 5’10” with a thin build, shaggy blond hair, and a full goatee.’

Miraculously, the missing woman was found less than nine hours after the message was issued, no doubt helped by the accompanying social media frenzy and meme war that erupted on their Twitter account.

Had the request gone out over the radio instead of social media, and no image been available, it is unlikely the women would have been found – for obvious reasons.

Long gone are the days of clinical accuracy from authorities in the interest of public and personal safety.

The situation is particularly tricky in Canada where the Canadian Human Rights Act legislates coerced speech where individuals and organisations are forced to use the preferred (rather than biological) pronouns of an individual – even if doing so may prove problematic or place them in danger.

‘Misgendering’ someone in Canada is considered a human rights violation as pronouns have been ruled ‘a fundamental part of a person’s identity’.

One day, using preferred pronouns in a missing person’s case like this one is going to delay the finding of someone in need – and then what? If someone dies due to inaccurate pronouns, is this to be accepted? Do we preference ideology over reality, even on matters of safety?

If legislators keep restricting speech, the answer will be ‘no comment’.

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