Justice for LGBTQ2+ Persons

Gender identity and expression are fundamental human rights. The LGBTQ2+ community is diverse, and many of its members still face many different forms of discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. People often face greater risks of violence where gender expression and sexuality intersect with race, citizenship and other identities. Other systemic oppressions deepen discrimination for women, non-binary and trans folks. Our institutions continue to fail for members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and this should not be the reality for Canadians.

Our LGBTQ2+ justice policy recognizes that members of the LGBTQ2+ community also face increased discrimination based on race, class, language or ability – so we seek to support every and all the many forms of people in the LGBTQ2+ community.  Vulnerable Canadians are trans folk, queer youth who deserve equal health services, and public programs that are reflective of their needs.

Create Equitable and Non-Discriminatory Access to Medical Support for Trans Folks

Currently,  health services are not widely available for trans people to access health care in their communities. As leader of Canada’s NDP I will work to develop a National Strategy for LGBTQ2+ Health with an emphasis on trans health.

This National Strategy will increase institutional capacity to research and identify health services gaps that are needed for members of the LGBTQ2+ community and social determinants of health in the LGBTQ2+ community, with a focus on accessibility to primary healthcare providers. This will lead to funds and grants for community-led programs and services. We need to improve services for trans folk and we need to support grassroots organizations already doing so. By providing grants and funding to local organizations, we can increase access and affordability for health services and improve outcomes.

For example, queer seniors or transitioning trans folk face unique health issues. Better services need to be offered to all Canadians free of violence and discrimination.

Provide non-binary options on Federal ID

Currently, Canadians are restricted by two gender categories for federal identification and records. This is a problem for some trans folk, whose identification does not accurately reflect their identity.

As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will give Canadians a third non-binary category for federal identification – this way all Canadians have ID that accurately reflects their identity. I will also push for a review of federal data-gathering practices in order to only gather data on gender where it is justified by a real need.

Support Federal Data Collection for Trans community

Very little data exists on the LGBTQ2+ community in Canada, specifically trans folks. Beyond having a third, non-binary category of gender on the national census, Statistics Canada needs to increase data sourcing on trans people, so we can identify and eliminate LGBTQ2+ violence in our country.

End the Blood Ban

Currently despite science based evidence, Health Canada imposes limitations on donations from men who have had any sexual contact with another man, and on transgender persons because of their gender identity. Canadian Blood Services has been reviewing these policies and needs to commit to concrete steps to make the donor criteria more inclusive.

As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will end the discriminatory and transphobic blood ban.

Work with the Provinces to Protect Gender Identity and Sexual Diversity Across Canada

I will work with the provinces to support adding protections in provincial human rights codes. Gender identity and expression need to be fully protected. This will be an important cultural and symbolic shift for Canadians to understand and respect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in our everyday lives.

Partner with Provinces to Support Queer Students and Youth

Queer youth are some of the most vulnerable in our society and face very high rates of youth suicide. We can work with the provinces to provide better education and support services to both parents and youth. By increasing programs such as after school, or arts programs, we can equip queer youth with skills and self-confidence and can build a sense of community so queer youth can grow-up without facing violence or discrimination.

Students enrolled in education face the double risk of unsupportive parents and a school environment which may be unwilling to support them. By working with the provinces and territories, and by implementing students rights advocates who can listen to and advocate for students who can find no support elsewhere, we can protect students and empower them to  advocate for themselves as they grow out of the education system.

As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will work with provincial governments to encourage better same-sex and non-binary sex and relationship education programs. I will also push for a national student equality advocate accessible to everyone enrolled in school or in an education program in Canada so that students at risk can call for knowledgeable support and protection when it is most needed.