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Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan 2022

Table of Contents

Note on acronyms

2SLGBTQI+ terminology and acronyms are continuously evolving. In 2016, the Government of Canada began using the term ‘LGBTQ2.’ The term was applied to the name of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat, the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund, and LGBTQ2 Projects Fund, among other initiatives. LGBTI is often used in an international context. 2SLGBTQQIA+ is the acronym adopted by the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Committee, which contributed to the 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and the 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan.

During the engagement process, 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Canada called for the acronym used by the Government of Canada to be updated. The Government of Canada will adopt and encourage the use of 2SLGBTQI+ as a more inclusive term. This includes changing the name of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat to the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat, which is the title used throughout this Action Plan.

2SLGBTQI+

2S at the front, recognizes Two-Spirit people as the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

L – Lesbian

G – Gay

B – Bisexual

T – Transgender

Q – Queer

I – Intersex, considers sex characteristics beyond sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

+ is inclusive of people who identify as part of sexual and gender diverse communities, who use additional terminologies.

Other 2SLGBTQI+ terms and acronyms

A glossary of 2SLGBTQI+ terms and acronyms is available on Canada.ca.

Note: the evolution of language within communities may inform future evolutions of this acronym.

Introduction

The 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan will advance rights and equality for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and additional sexually and gender diverse people in Canada.

The Action Plan takes a holistic approach to addressing the substantial and persisting inequities faced by 2SLGBTQI+ individuals and communities. It was developed based on the experiences, evidence and voices of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and stakeholders through an extensive engagement process. The Government of Canada received input from 25,636 survey respondents, 102 written submissions, and over 100 participants across seven roundtable discussions, who generously shared their lived experiences, knowledge and expertise.

The Action Plan seeks to address and prevent discrimination and stigma based on sexual orientation, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression from emerging or worsening for future 2SLGBTQI+ generations. It will do so by prioritizing community action and by coordinating the Government’s work to advance 2SLGBTQI+ issues across federal departments and agencies in a holistic, whole-of-government approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of the types of inequities facing communities.

Guided by this approach, the Action Plan focuses on the following priority areas over the next five years:

  1. Prioritize and sustain 2SLGBTQI+ community action
  2. Continue to advance and strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ rights at home and abroad
  3. Support Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence
  4. Engage everyone in Canada in fostering a 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive future
  5. Strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ data and evidence-based policy making
  6. Embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada

Achieving full equality and improving overall outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ communities will require sustained efforts across all levels of government, industries and society.

The Action Plan is an evergreen document that builds on progress the Government of Canada has already made and will continue to guide the Government of Canada’s work into the future.

Reconciliation and the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities

Description

Vancouver, B.C., Canada – July 1, 2021: Vocalists perform in reflection of the Canadian Residential School System.
Credit: Blake Elliott

The Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. This includes reconciliation with Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

In a report that contributed to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People Federal Pathway and National Action Plan, the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Committee explains that Two-Spirit people existed and fulfilled vital roles in many Indigenous nations prior to contact with European settlers. The report highlights that over two-thirds of the approximately 200 Indigenous languages spoken in North America include different terms referring to individuals with identities and expressions outside the Western gender binary definitions. Critical roles in the communities fulfilled by Two-Spirit people included teachers, knowledge keepers, healers, herbalists, child minders, spiritual leaders, interpreters, mediators and artists.

As stated in the report, and attributed to Dr. Percy Lezard, the ‘closet’ was brought to Indigenous territories by European settlers. The report uses the term ‘gendercide’ to describe “the intentional elimination of Indigenous people who were perceived to be neither fully male nor fully female or expressed a unique third or other gender…”.

The report also highlights that “While there is no contestation about the resilience of 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, the level of violence, exclusion and erasure that our community members continue to experience is in need of immediate attention at multiple levels”.

The full report of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ Committee, including all of its recommendations, can be found on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan website.

GBA Plus: An intersectional approach

The Action Plan was developed using an intersectional approach, Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus), which informed the community engagement process, the analysis of the results and the development of the Action Plan. ‘Intersectional’ refers to the “consideration of how multiple overlapping factors shape social, health and economic opportunities and outcomes for people, as well as barriers to accessing programs or services.”Footnote 1 GBA Plus leads to a better diagnostic of the problem, stronger solutions and nuanced strategies to reduce inequalities and address barriers faced by specific groups of people.

In this context, the intersectional approach taken to develop the Action Plan considered the disproportionate health, social and economic inequities experienced by some 2SLGBTQI+ communities, which are exacerbated by colonialism, systemic racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, classism, as well as other interconnected factors that inhibit the inclusion of 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Canadian society. These intersecting systems of oppression also compound barriers to accessing the support needed to respond to impacts on health, economic and social outcomes at individual and community levels. It also considered the multiple identities and contextual factors of the lived experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada.

Minority stress

Minority stress is one of the effects felt by 2SLGBTQI+ people resulting from discrimination and stigma in various aspects of their life. It is a form of stress experienced uniquely by minority groups, in addition to everyday life stressors that affect 2SLGBTQI+ and non- 2SLGBTQI+ people alike.Footnote 2

School-related stress

All youth face school-related stress, whether it is related to exams, deadlines or balancing extracurricular activities. A trans youth, however, might wake up in an unsupportive household, face interrogation from parents and siblings on their gender expression, experience gender dysphoria on the way to the bus stop, and face bullying from peers on the way to their locker. This youth might experience all these things before making it to the classroom. For 2SLGBTQI+ communities, experiences of discrimination are not unique, but are encountered across multiple aspects of life. These experiences shape the day-to-day realities of 2SLGBTQI+ people.

Key federal 2SLGBTQI+ milestones

The relationship between 2SLGBTQI+ communities and the federal government has historically been driven by activism and legal action to push for the progression of rights over the last 50 years. This led to the following legislative milestones:

1969 – Decriminalization of gross indecency and buggery for consenting adults 21 years and older (Canada’s first Criminal Code (1892) included offences prohibiting gross indecency and buggery [anal intercourse])

1977 – Immigration Act amended, removing “homosexuals” from list of “inadmissible classes”

1992 – End of Canadian Armed Forces restrictions regarding the service of “homosexuals”

1995 – Supreme Court rules that “equality” Charter rights extend to sexual orientation

1996 – Canadian Human Rights Act amended to include sexual orientation

2000 – Benefits and Obligations Act extended to same-sex couples

2005 – Legalization of same-sex marriage under Civil Marriages Act

In 2016, the Prime Minister appointed a Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues, and shortly thereafter, created what is now called the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat with the mandate to provide the federal government with pathways to address historical and ongoing injustices experienced by 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada. Since then, the Government of Canada has taken further steps toward building a safer and more inclusive country:

2017 – Canadian Human Rights Act protects gender identity and gender expression

2017 – Prime Minister’s apology to LGBT Purge survivors and 2SLGBTQI+ communities

2018 – Federal Court approved Final LGBT Purge Class Action Settlement Agreement

2018 – Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act for eligible offences involving consensual same-sex sexual activity

2019 – Repeal of anal intercourse, vagrancy and bawdy house offences

2019 – Targeted programming for 2SLGBTQI+ communities announced, including Community Capacity Fund and advancing 2SLGBTQI+ rights globally through the Feminist International Assistance Policy

2021 – Projects Fund announced

2022 – Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy) becomes law

2022 – Canada’s first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan launched

Context for action

Discrimination based on sexual orientation, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression dates back to the country’s earliest foundations, when settlers imposed European norms of gender and sexuality onto Two-Spirit peoples as tools of colonization.

Description

Marchers protesting Montreal police raids that targeted two gay bars in 1977, with 146 patrons arrested. Most charges were dropped, but only 5 years later. Some of the signs include messages like: “We are everywhere”, “Lesbians are gay too”, and “Young gay and proud!”.
Courtesy of the Quebec Gay Archives

Over the past 150+ years, systemic discrimination has taken many forms: pathologization, criminalization, imprisonment, rejection by family and friends, police raids of community spaces, lost livelihoods, the refusal of LGBTI immigrants, a ban on donating blood, physical violence and death.

Transgender individuals are over one and a half times more likely to have experienced violent victimization in their lifetime than cisgender individuals. On November 20th each year, community members organize vigils for International Transgender Day of Remembrance, where the list of names of trans people killed that year due to anti-trans violence are read aloud.

Federal workplaces were not immune to this discrimination. Between the 1950s and mid- 1990s, 2SLGBTQI+ Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members, as well as 2SLGBTQI+ federal public servants, were subjected to systemic discrimination and harassment in what is now referred to as the LGBT Purge. Many were interrogated, followed, abused, and fired in accordance with policy and sanctioned practice.

Today, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals continue to experience stigma and discrimination, which are at the root of multiple inequities in areas such as health, safety, housing and employment. The types and levels of inequities that are experienced vary across 2SLGBTQI+ communities:

Description

25% to 40% of homeless youth in Canada are 2SLGBTQI+ and 64% of 2SLGBTQI+ students who participated in one study reported feeling unsafe at school.

Description

The 2019 Trans PULSE survey, which included trans and non-binary people in Canada, revealed that 24% of participants had an annual income of less than $15,000.

Description

28% of 2SLGBTQI+ seniors who participated in one study had fallen behind on rent or mortgage payments or needed to borrow money for housing costs within the past five years.

Although Canada has made substantial gains in recent years toward improved equity and greater protections for 2SLGBTQI+ communities, it is clear that much work remains.

A phenomenon of ‘going back into the closet’ has emerged among 2SLGBTQI+ seniors in long-term care, where they do not disclose their identities out of fear of discrimination from care staff and other residents. This is even though many of today’s 2SLGBTQI+ seniors are those who fought for 2SLGBTQI+ rights.

Building Canada’s first federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan through community engagement (2020-2021)

Acknowledgements

The Government of Canada would like to thank all people who took part in the online survey, roundtables, meetings and provided written submissions. Your contributions and expertise have built a solid foundation for change.

Listening to 2SLGBTQI+ Communities

The Government of Canada recognizes the historic and ongoing roles that 2SLGBTQI+ individuals and civil society organizations play in advocating for the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ people, and in building safer and more resilient communities. The development of the Action Plan was informed by 2SLGBTQI+ people across the country.

25,636 survey respondents shared their experiences related to safety, health, housing and homelessness, employment, discrimination, stigma and resilience. 102 written submissions were received from organizations, and seven roundtable discussions took place where over 100 participants shared their lived experiences, knowledge and expertise. Multiple meetings were also held with 2SLGBTQI+ civil society organizations.

For an overview of what was heard during the engagement process, please consult Annex 1: Summary of engagement findings and available Government of Canada initiatives.

For a snapshot of the survey results, see 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan Survey – Quick stats  – Women and Gender Equality Canada.

Roundtable discussions included community leaders, academics/ researchers, and individuals representing 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations, including many that were historically excluded from policy making processes.

Survey demographics

Description: Survey Demographics

New Federal 2SLGBTQI+ actions

While this Action Plan is not the first or last step taken toward 2SLGBTQI+ equality, it marks an important step toward addressing 2SLGBTQI+ issues. The path forward is forged in collaboration between the Government of Canada, 2SLGBTQI+ communities, organizations and individuals.

Canada’s first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan is:

The Action Plan prioritizes direct support for communities. Stakeholders indicated that direct support would enable the 2SLGBTQI+ community sector to continue its crucial work to serve and advocate for the needs of diverse communities. Direct support for communities addresses the unique capacity challenges facing some 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations, particularly those serving underrepresented communities. These include Indigenous, Black and racialized 2SLGBTQI+ communities, who often face additional barriers in securing funding and support for their communities.

Through Budget 2022, the Government of Canada announced $100 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support the implementation of the 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan and to support a fairer and more equal Canada for 2SLGBTQI+ people. This funding will be used to directly support communities and to address 2SLGBTQI+ issues going forward.

This Action Plan builds on the Government’s efforts to construct positive, collaborative relationships with communities. It focuses on the following priority areas:

  1. Prioritize and sustain 2SLGBTQI+ community action
  2. Continue to advance and strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ rights at home and abroad
  3. Support Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence
  4. Engage everyone in Canada in fostering a 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive future
  5. Strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ data and evidence-based policy making
  6. Embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada

1: Prioritize and sustain 2SLGBTQI+ community action

Description

A couple kisses with children on their shoulders in Victoria, British Columbia
Credit: Marcia Fernandes

Objective

Support the growth, sustainability and leadership of 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations in advocating for and serving the communities they represent.

Government of Canada actions

The Government of Canada will enhance Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Community Capacity Fund, which was established in 2019 to address the discrimination and inequities faced by 2SLGBTQI+ communities by supporting initiatives that strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations. This includes building managerial capacity, ensuring long-term sustainability, increasing access to evidence, data, information, and knowledge sources, and amplifying sector capacity at large. To date, it has supported 77 organizations to establish formal networks, become legally constituted, develop strategic and financial plans, improve knowledge about the needs of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and improve leaders’ technical skills so they can effectively run their organizations.

New capacity-building funding will allow community organizations to undertake this important work, prioritizing funding for 2SLGBTQI+ communities experiencing additional marginalization, such as Black, racialized and Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities, 2SLGBTQI+ persons with disabilities, seniors, youth, official language minority communities, and those living in rural communities.

The Government of Canada will enhance Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Projects Fund, which supports community- informed initiatives aimed at addressing specific barriers to 2SLGBTQI+ equality. Currently, the Projects Fund is supporting a range of projects to address discriminatory policies and practices, enhance support for 2SLGBTQI+ people and challenge harmful norms and attitudes.

New project funding will allow community organizations to undertake this important work, prioritizing funding for 2SLGBTQI+ communities experiencing additional marginalization, such as Black, racialized and Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities, 2SLGBTQI+ persons with disabilities, seniors, youth, official language minority communities, and those living in rural communities.

2: Continue to advance and strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ rights at home and abroad

Description Gay couple Michael Stark, left, and partner Michael Leshner – Canada’s first legally married same-sex couple in 2003
Credit: Michael Stuparyk

Objective

To promote and continue strengthening the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Canada and abroad.

Government of Canada actions

Building on the passage of Bill C-4, which criminalized conversion therapy in Canada, the Government of Canada will continue to ensure that Canadian justice policy protects the dignity and equality of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians. Specifically, Justice Canada will launch a public consultation (starting in fall 2022) on three criminal law reform issues identified by 2SLGBTQI+ stakeholders as well as Parliamentary Committee recommendations:

  1. The criminalization of purely cosmetic surgeries on intersex children’s genitalia until they are mature enough to provide consent;
  2. Limiting prosecutions of persons who fail to disclose their HIV status before otherwise consensual sexual activity;
  3. Modernizing indecency-based offences.

The Government of Canada will expand Public Safety’s expungement regime to add additional historically unjust 2SLGBTQI+ offences to the schedule of Bill C-66, Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act (EHUCA) (2018).

The Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, will continue to invest in 2SLGBTQI+ projects abroad, and will invest up to $10 million per year to advance human rights and improve socio- economic outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ people in developing countries as of 2025-2026.

The Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada, will recommit to the global protection and promotion of 2SLGBTQI+ rights through diplomacy and advocacy at multilateral, regional, bilateral, and international levels. This includes participation in the UN System, regional organizations, international coalitions, bilaterally and support to missions, and assistance to human rights defenders. Global Affairs Canada will also continue organizing mission-level initiatives that support 2SLGBTQI+ objectives.

Three individuals attend a celebratory Pride event.
Description

Pride events are held annually across Canada to celebrate 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
Love is Love, be proud.
Credit: Jon Babulic Photography

3: Support Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence

Description

A culturally specific identity, “Two-Spirit” is used by some Indigenous people to indicate a person whose gender identity, spiritual identity and/or sexual orientation comprises both male and female spirits. Pictured: a potato dance takes place at the 2018 East Coast Two-Spirit Gathering in New York State.
Photo provided by Gabe Calderón (they/them)

Objective

Support the resilience and resurgence of Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities as the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

Government of Canada actions

The Government of Canada will prioritize community organizations serving Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ people as part of its Community Capacity and Projects funds.

In response to community call, the Government of Canada will adopt and encourage the general use of the more inclusive term and acronym 2SLGBTQI+ and change the name of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat accordingly. The “2S” acronym at the front recognizes Two-Spirit people as the first 2SLGBTQI+ communities and foregrounds their experiences as part of the Government’s mandate on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The Government of Canada will implement a new federal interdepartmental governance structure on 2SLGBTQI+ issues (as outlined later under priority area #6), led by Women and Gender Equality Canada, which will include a senior-level interdepartmental table with a mandate to further Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence throughout Government of Canada initiatives.

The Government of Canada will hire a Two- Spirit Senior Advisor within the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat to provide advice on unique issues facing Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities, as well as work with partners throughout the federal government and with Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities and organizations. The Senior Advisor will inform policies and programs that impact Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities, including supporting the development and implementation of 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan initiatives.

4: Engage everyone in Canada in fostering a 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive future

Description

Sometimes, demonstrating your pride means showing your true colors. Pictured: couple holding hands, wearing Pride-themed sweat bands.
Credit: Andriy Popov

Objective

To raise awareness and improve understanding of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and issues.

Government of Canada actions

The Government of Canada will enhance inclusion and break down underlying and long- standing stigma and discrimination against 2SLGBTQI+ communities through a multi-pronged Awareness Campaign, led by Women and Gender Equality Canada. The design of the awareness campaign will be done in collaboration with 2SLGBTQI+ communities to reflect their realities and needs.

5: Strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ data and evidence-based policy making

Five individuals take part in a discussion inside a conference room.
DescriptionEnhanced data on the realities of 2SLGBTQI+ communities will help shape federal policies that can provide support on important issues.

Objective

To improve data collection, analysis, research and knowledge on 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Canada.

Government of Canada actions

The Government of Canada will build a solid foundation for future action on 2SLGBTQI+ issues by supporting, through Women and Gender Equality Canada:

While there is sufficient data to demonstrate long-standing and persisting issues facing 2SLGBTQI+ communities, a key challenge is the lack of data at the national level, systematically collected and disaggregated for sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and additional intersecting factors of exclusion. The enhanced data will build on existing research and evidence- building activities to improve and better target federal interventions to address those issues most important to communities (e.g. health, employment and homelessness).

The Government of Canada will undertake a research study, through Employment and Social Development Canada, on the challenges and barriers experienced by 2SLGBTQI+ seniors ageing in place, particularly the financial, psychosocial, housing, medical, and legal barriers that prevent them from successfully doing so.

The Government of Canada remains committed to upholding a decision-making process that considers the impacts of policies, programs, and legislation on all Canadians in a budgetary context, as enshrined in the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act. To do that, the Government uses the Gender Results Framework (GRF) – a whole-of-government tool that identifies gender equality priorities and goals with matching indicators to track developments toward these goals. Women and Gender Equality Canada, working with the Department of Finance and Statistics Canada, will identify a pathway for enhancing Canada’s Gender Results Framework (GRF), so that it better reflects the realities of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and better equips Canada to track progress toward achieving 2SLGBTQI+ equality in Canada and around the world. It will also ensure that 2SLGBTQI+ equality is considered in the decision-making process.

6: Embed 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada

DescriptionCanadian Armed Forces members march in the 2018 Toronto Pride Parade. Credit: Shawn Goldberg

Objective

To strengthen mechanisms to advance 2SLGBTQI+ issues and ensure coordinated Government of Canada responses to community priorities.

Government of Canada actions

The Government of Canada will expand and stabilize the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat at Women and Gender Equality Canada, under its new title as the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat, to oversee and enable the implementation of the 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, enable its ongoing work across the federal government to support initiatives led by other government departments that intersect with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and facilitate public engagement and stakeholder relations activities throughout the implementation of the Action Plan.

The Government of Canada will implement two senior-level interdepartmental governance tables to foreground 2SLGBTQI+ policy issues, both led by Women and Gender Equality Canada.

One table will focus on issues facing 2SLGBTQI+ communities writ large, and a second table will focus specifically on the unique issues impacting Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities in support of Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence. These tables will help to coordinate the Government of Canada’s work to advance on 2SLGBTQI+ issues and advance work on the Action Plan, notably by strengthening interdepartmental collaboration and embedding 2SLGBTQI+ issues in the work of the Government of Canada.

The Government of Canada will lead by example, as the largest employer in Canada, to continue building and maintaining 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive federal workplaces, and ensure that nothing akin to the LGBT Purge happens again. This includes:

  1. Continue to emerge from the LGBT Purge: Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Federal Public Service, in collaboration with the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat, will continue to implement remaining initiatives from the LGBT Purge Class Action Settlement Agreement.
  2. Further 2SLGBTQI+ diversity and inclusion within the Government of Canada: The Treasury Board Secretariat (Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer) will lead efforts to further 2SLGBTQI+ diversity and inclusion within the Government of Canada by ensuring the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion’s future initiatives are informed by 2SLGBTQI+ federal employee networks, stakeholders and by the 2021 LGBT Purge Report, “Emerging from the Purge: The State of LGBTQI2S Inclusion in the Federal Workplace and Recommendations for Improvement”.
  3. Fostering a respectful, inclusive and diverse Defence Team: As part of the response to the Emerging From the Purge Report, the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence are reviewing and updating training resources, increasing awareness and understanding of inclusive language, continuing to define departmental benchmarks, supporting the monitoring of activities, and working in collaboration with 2SLGBTQI+ communities to support 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion.
  4. Support employee-led Pride initiatives: The Government of Canada will continue to encourage employee-led work such as the Positive Space Initiative and Public Service Pride Network, which are key to nurturing a 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive workplace through awareness-raising and learning – and providing sources of peer support and community connections for 2SLGBTQI+ federal employees.

In partnership with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, the Government of Canada will implement a new Community Partnership Committee. Co-led by the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat and community stakeholders, the Committee will provide a structured and regular opportunity for communities to inform the implementation of the Action Plan and inform future actions. Starting in the fall of 2022, the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat will work with community representatives to develop and establish the Committee’s Terms of Reference, including membership, and agenda- setting approach. The Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth would engage with the Partnership Committee, as appropriate.

Beginning with the Federal/Provincial/Territorial table for the Status of Women, the Government of Canada will help advance 2SLGBTQI+ equality by committing to meaningful engagement with provincial, territorial, and municipal partners on matters of importance for 2SLGBTQI+ communities falling within jurisdictional authorities of other levels of government.

Next Steps…An ongoing commitment to action

This Action Plan is an important step in a series of recent milestones that seek to strengthen inclusion and achieve equality for 2SLGBTQI+ communities. However, it is not the last step.

Real change takes a sustained commitment over many years. It requires dedication and support, in collaboration with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, by those inside and outside the federal government.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the contributions of those across other levels of government, sectors and society who are already working to end discrimination and improve outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ communities. It recognizes the leadership and work of 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations in advocating for and meeting the needs of the diversity of communities they represent.

The Government of Canada calls on all Canadians, through their actions, to stand with 2SLGBTQI+ communities by helping to end systemic discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression. A diverse and inclusive Canada where 2SLGBTQI+ people are celebrated and can fully participate as their true selves is a stronger one.

Description

18 nuances de gai is a Montréal installation that covered a pedestrian section of Sainte-Catherine street, in the Village, between 2017 and 2019. Designed by architect Claude Cormier, it was made up of 180,000 multicolored balls.
Credit: Dav Himbt

Annex 1: Summary of engagement findings and available Government of Canada initiatives

This annex provides a summary of what was heard during the 2020-21 community engagement process to inform the 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan. Alongside these findings are some of the initiatives that the Government of Canada is currently pursuing to contribute to a more diverse, inclusive and equal country, and that are available to 2SLGBTQI+ communities. 

The engagement process underscored key issues in six themes:

  1. Safety and justice
  2. Employment and the workplace
  3. Health and well-being
  4. Housing and homelessness
  5. Global protection and promotion of 2SLGBTQI+ rights
  6. Stigma, isolation and resilience. 
  7. 1) Safety and justice

    Survey respondents overall who had encountered violence or discrimination

    Description

    39% of survey respondents overall had encountered violence or discrimination.

    The most common forms of violence and discrimination reported by those who experienced them were:

    Description

    The most common forms of violence and discrimination reported by those who experienced them

    Percentage

    Physical violence

    17%

    Verbal abuse

    90%

    Psychological abuse

    47%

    Sexual violence

    13%

    Property damage

    9%

    Online harassment

    51%

    It’s not enough to stop future harms [such as those related to conversion therapy]. It’s also important to address the needs of those who’ve suffered harm.” -Participant

    The prevailing view is that intersex people are broken and can only be fixed by medical intervention...while not all intersex people identify as queer, all are subjected to the basic abuse of [their] human rights, autonomy, and the development of a self-image free from sexual stigma.” -Participant

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    2) Employment and workplace

    Recognizing the importance of inclusive employment, the federal government should dedicate the resources and funding necessary to establish the federal public service as a model for 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion”. -Participant

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    3) Health and well-being

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    Several federal departments and agencies have already implemented initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Canada. This includes the three Health Portfolio partners (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada) and federal departments providing health services to specific populations.

    The existing initiatives listed below have laid a solid foundation. The first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan provides a mechanism through which departments and agencies working on health and wellness will enhance collaboration and coordination across the federal government.

    4) Housing and homelessness

    “… we need to value seniors. 2SLGBTQI+ seniors have the same right to safe housing as anyone else, and that includes housing for them specifically. Many seniors fought for the rights now enjoyed by younger 2SLGBTQI+ folks but find themselves in unsafe situations where they need to re-closet themselves.” -Participant

    It’s hard to stay in a place where you’re discriminated against on the basis of who you are.” -Participant

    When your choices are to sleep in a park or in a shelter where you’ll be ridiculed for your identity, there is no safe choice.” -Participant

    Housing is a fundamental human right but it’s not the end point. There’s also a need for counselling and other mental health services, safe injection sites, and help with addictions... Giving people support to use drugs safely is not effective when they have no home, no skills to get a job, and in most cases, no ability to even do something such as complete their census form.” -Participant

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    5) Global protection and promotion of 2SLGBTQI+ rights

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    6) Stigma, Isolation and Resilience

    Key current and ongoing initiatives

    The Government of Canada is committed to applying Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) in decision-making to ensure that policies and programs are responsive to and inclusive of diverse needs, and consider impacts on diverse groups of people. GBA Plus is a process for identifying who is impacted by an issue; how they are impacted; how intersecting factors, such as gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, race, ethnicity, disability, age, geography, language, religion, education, and economic status, as well as systemic discrimination, such as homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia, shape experiences, outcomes, and access to programs or services; and how initiatives need to be tailored to meet the needs of diverse groups of people. Women and Gender Equality Canada continues to work with federal departments to strengthen the application of GBA Plus to decision-making, to ensure that initiatives contribute to 2SLGBTQI+ equality and that no one is left behind.

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