Canada’s unions are calling for meaningful investments to support 2SLGBTQI communities

May 25, 2021

Canada’s unions are marking this year’s Pride season by calling on the federal government to invest in 2SLGBTQI community organizations to ensure that our most vulnerable communities are not left behind in pandemic recovery.

“Pride is and has always been political, with deep roots in protest and resistance,” said Larry Rousseau, CLC Executive Vice-President. “As we enter the second Pride season marked by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, it’s more important than ever to celebrate Pride with calls to action. This includes strengthening Canada’s social safety net so that we are all part of a strong pandemic recovery.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2SLGBTQI communities were already experiencing severe inequities. Over a year later, the situation has become even more dire, as 2SLGBTQI populations have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

The recent federal budget committed to a $15 million investment over three years for a new LGBTQ2 Projects Fund, and $7.1 million, also over three years, for Heritage Canada to continue to operate the LGBTQ2 Secretariat.

While welcome, these funding commitments won’t address chronic underfunding of supports and services for these populations.

“Without proper investments in community organizations and support services, those who are already most vulnerable will be overlooked and left out when it comes to pandemic recovery,” said Rousseau.

In the coming months, the federal government will be developing an 2SLGBTQI Action Plan to guide its work around issues affecting 2SLGBTQI communities and conducting consultations with organizations to shape the Action Plan.

In order to meet the needs of 2SLGBTQI communities, the root causes of systemic inequity must be addressed. Canada’s unions urge the federal government to:

  • Guarantee, in partnership with provinces and territories, long-term, core operational funding for 2SLGBTQI community organizations and service providers across the country, so that they are better equipped to provide the supports needed by community members;
  • Strengthen the Employment Equity Act by including 2SLGBTQI workers as a designated population under the Act to combat systemic barriers and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. They must ensure that 2SLGBTQI communities are thoroughly consulted during the process of modernizing of the Act; and
  • Ensure that the implementation of GBA+ analysis across all levels of government includes meaningful intersectional 2SLGBTQI experiences and perspectives to properly identify the possible impacts of government policies, programs and services on 2SLGBTQI communities across Canada.

This Pride season, Canada’s unions continue to stand in solidarity with and fight alongside 2SLGBTQI workers and communities. We are calling for change toward a more equitable Canada for all. Sign our petition and join the fight.

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