Canada’s Unions call for action against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia during COVID-19 crisis

May 17, 2020

On this International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to support 2SLGBTQI organizations struggling with the impacts of the current crisis.

2SLGBTQI peoples are more vulnerable to discrimination, violence, harassment and stigma on the basis of sexuality and gender identity right now. The lockdown makes it more difficult to find support and to escape a less than accepting situation at home.

“COVID-19 has amplified the inequities in our society, including the discrimination faced by 2SLGBTQI peoples,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We may all be practicing social distancing, but that doesn’t mean marginalized communities are less impacted by the reality of homophobic, transphobic and biphobic intolerance and violence.”

As the first waves of lockdown hit communities across Canada, over 100 2SLGBTQI organizations sounded the alarm in a letter addressed to Canada’s federal government.

According to data collected by Egale, 53 per cent of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI households have been impacted by job losses since mid-March, compared to 39 per cent of the general population. Further, 42 per cent of 2SLGBTQI respondents to Egale’s recent survey said they have experienced negative mental health impacts due to the added stress, compared to 30 per cent of the general public.

“We need action from the federal government to support 2SLGBTQI organizations dealing with an increase in demand from community members struggling with a lack of resources due to the pandemic,” continued Rousseau. “We also need federal and provincial governments to mandate collection of disaggregated data across Canada to give health officials and policy makers a greater understanding of the disproportionate impact of this pandemic on marginalized communities, including 2SLGBTQI people.”

Learn more about the specific impacts of COVID-19 on 2SLGBTQI communities in Canada here, and learn more about the history of IDAHOBIT here.

Related Articles

Canada’s unions stand with India’s farmers and farm workers

Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with farmers and agricultural workers in India as they continue to protest recent reforms to agricultural laws that deregulate the industry and leave farmers and farm workers vulnerable to exploitation by international corporations. “Deregulating local produce markets will have a devastating impact on farmers, farm workers and food security in India,” said Canadian Labour Congress…
Read More

Canada’s unions call for pathway to permanent residency for all migrant workers

Canada’s unions are marking International Migrants Day by calling on the federal government to offer a pathway to permanent residency to all migrant workers who wish to apply. The federal government recently announced that it will be accepting applications for permanent residence from refugee claimants working in the healthcare sector. This important announcement recognizes the crucial contributions refugee workers have…
Read More

Canada’s unions welcome new bill to adopt Indigenous rights framework

Canada’s unions welcome the federal government’s recent announcement and subsequent tabling of a bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), a commitment which was to be fulfilled before the end of the year. The new bill, Bill C-15, comes four years after former NDP MP Romeo Saganash introduced Bill C-262, a similar private…
Read More