The federal government on Sunday launched Canada’s first-ever 2SLGBTQI+ action plan, in an attempt to build a future where everyone in the country is “truly free.”
In an announcement with Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “This is a whole government plan that will guide our ongoing work, like discrimination, to break down barriers to advance rights and to build a future where everyone in Canada is truly free.”
“Our government will never stop fighting to protect and support your rights and freedoms.”
The plan aims to look into direct funding for community groups to determine and offer the kind of support needed to address inequities that still exist and improve the overall well-being of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Canada.
“The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories, cities and towns, community organizations, and 2SLGBTQI+ people from all walks of life to build a better future we can all be proud of,” a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
It also said that the government will adopt and encourage the use of the 2SLGBTQI+ acronym, which stands for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional sexually and gender diverse people.
A dedicated Two-Spirit Senior Advisor position within the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat is also being created to support “resilience and resurgence.”
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In addition, the Action Plan will continue to advance and strengthen rights of the 2SLGBTQI+ community in Canada and abroad “by building on the criminalization of conversion therapy and launching consultations on additional criminal law reforms.”
Data collection, analysis and research about 2SLGBTQI+ will also be improved to help policy-making, and more investments will be made in awareness campaigns to improve understanding of the communities and issues.
Trudeau said human rights are “moving backwards in many parts of the world” and Canada needs to continue to stand up to “show what a truly positive, inclusive, strong society looks like.”
“And that means everyone working together, calling out what we see,” he said.
In the 2022 federal budget, the government allocated $100 million to be spent over the next five years on implementing this plan. The release of this plan, however, comes after the Liberals broke their promise of providing a plan within the first 100 days after the 2021 election.
Ien said up to $75 million of the $100 million fund will go to 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations that advocate for and serve their communities.
She said this action plan is for those who “are fighting to be heard, to be seen and to be accepted.”
“This is for the people who I mentioned before who were discarded by family, maybe friends after they came out, and said they don’t belong,” said Ien. “This is for everybody trying to live their truth in rural communities where they feel isolated.
“This is for the Black queer people who are fighting every single day to just justify their place in this country, and the trans women who are afraid to walk home alone in the dark,” she said. “This is for you.
“Past the 100 days, but we’re here.”
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