Canada’s unions call for urgent action to address hate crimes against 2SLGBTQI people

May 17, 2021

Canada’s unions are marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) by urging the federal government to address the rise in hate crimes against 2SLGBTQI communities in Canada.

“There is no place for homophobic, transphobic or biphobic violence in our communities,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people face disproportionately high levels of violence in our workplaces and in our communities. The federal government must act immediately to address this alarming trend.”

The most recent Statistics Canada report on police reported hate crimes highlights a record high rate of hate crimes targeting individuals in the 2SLGBTQI community. Although members of the 2SLGBTQI community are less likely to report violent incidents to the police than other Canadians, the data indicates a 41% increase in hate crimes against 2SLGBTQI reported to the police, between 2018 and 2019. Over half of those reported crimes were violent.

Canada’s unions will join other organizations across the country in providing input to help shape Canada’s LGBTQ2 Action Plan. The CLC also created a new Workers in Transition handbook to help combat transphobia in the workplace.

“We are always recommitting ourselves to eradicating all forms of discrimination and harassment, whether it is on the shop floor, at the union meeting or at a community event,” said Rousseau. “We want to set an example for workers around the world, that inclusion is necessary for true worker solidarity.”

Canada’s unions continue to organize and fight for anti-harassment policies and awareness initiatives at work that ensure safer workplaces and unions for everyone. Even in the midst of a pandemic, unions are continuing to lead the way in advocating for every worker’s right to safety in the workplace. This includes a national survey on harassment and violence at work in Canada launched late last year.

The International Day Against Homophobia was first created in 2003 in Quebec, and was later amended in 2009 and 2015 to include transphobia and biphobia respectively. You can learn more about the history of IDAHOTB here.

Related Articles

Canada’s unions call for strengthened rights and protections for domestic workers

Canada’s unions are marking International Domestic Workers Day by calling on the federal government to increase access to services and protections for domestic workers and to ratify the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit domestic workers hard – as of June 2020, the ILO estimated that approximately 72.3% of global domestic…
Read More

Canada’s unions condemn hate-motivated terrorist attack against Canadian Muslim family; express concern over rising incidents of hate

Canada’s unions unequivocally condemn the recent escalation of hate crimes and violence against members of numerous racialized and religious minority communities across the country. The most recent and tragic hate-motivated attack occurred on Sunday in London, Ontario. A Muslim family out for an evening walk were plowed down by a lone driver which resulted in the murder of four family…
Read More

Canada’s unions mourn with Indigenous communities, call for action

Canada’s unions stand with Indigenous communities across Canada as they mourn the lives of 215 children whose remains were discovered at a burial site at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. “Our hearts are with residential school survivors, their families and all the children who never returned to the homes from which they were taken,” said Hassan Yussuff,…
Read More