Building an Inclusive Future for All
No matter the color of your skin or the gender of the person you love, Canada is striving to ensure equal opportunities for all.
In a groundbreaking move, the Government of Canada has taken extensive strides in recent years to shape a more inclusive future for the Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other sexually and gender diverse individuals (2SLGBTQI+). However, the journey toward complete equality is far from over.
A Pioneering Blueprint for Progress
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alongside Marci Ien, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, unveiled Canada’s inaugural Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, aptly named “Building our Future, with Pride.”
This all-encompassing government strategy is aimed at cultivating a future where everyone in Canada is unreservedly free to be themselves and embrace their love without discrimination.
Key Pillars of the Action Plan
The comprehensive plan delineates its goals through several key pillars:
Empowering 2SLGBTQI+ Communities
A pivotal focus is on empowering 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations to advocate for and serve their constituencies. By providing support and resources, these organizations will be better equipped to represent their communities’ interests.
Advancing Rights and Global Impact
The Action Plan seeks to strengthen 2SLGBTQI+ rights both domestically and internationally. It builds upon the criminalization of conversion therapy and initiates consultations on further criminal law reforms. Investments will also be made in global projects through Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Indigenous Resilience and Inclusion
An imperative goal is to support the resilience and resurgence of Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. This involves funding Indigenous community organizations, elevating the “2S” representation in the 2SLGBTQI+ acronym for Two-Spirit people, and introducing a dedicated Two-Spirit Senior Advisor role.
To foster a more inclusive future, the plan allocates resources to awareness campaigns aimed at enhancing understanding of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and the challenges they face.
Informed by Data and Policy
Evidence-based policymaking is crucial. The plan emphasizes enhancing data collection, research, and knowledge about the barriers confronted by 2SLGBTQI+ communities in Canada.
Integration Within Government
The Action Plan ensures that 2SLGBTQI+ concerns are integrated within the fabric of the Government of Canada’s work. It calls for cohesive action across various government bodies to advance 2SLGBTQI+ priorities.
A Financial Commitment
The 2022 budget demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the Action Plan, with $100 million allocated over five years for its development and implementation. Within this, specific funding is earmarked for community organizations and critical initiatives:
- Up to $75 million for 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations
- $40 million for capacity-building support, with a focus on marginalized groups within the community
- $35 million for project-focused support aimed at addressing barriers to equality
- $11.7 million for the 2SLGBTQI+ Secretariat to oversee the Action Plan’s execution
- $7.7 million for data collection and community-led policy research
- $5.6 million for awareness campaigns to combat stigma and discrimination
A Collaborative Endeavor
The Action Plan’s creation was a collaborative effort involving community leaders, researchers, and organizations.
It speaks to the concerns of diverse members within the 2SLGBTQI+ communities, employing an intersectional, holistic, and long-term approach to dismantling barriers and combating discrimination.
A Living Document for Progress
While building upon past achievements, the Action Plan remains a living document, continuously celebrating the uniqueness of Canadians. It signifies a historic milestone, yet its mission continues beyond its launch.
The Government of Canada vows to work hand-in-hand with provinces, territories, cities, community organizations, and individuals from various walks of life to forge an even brighter future.
Voices of Leadership
Prime Minister Trudeau remarked,
“Canada gets a little bit stronger every day that we choose to embrace and celebrate who we are, in all our uniqueness.”
He highlighted the richness that 2SLGBTQI+ individuals contribute to the nation.
Minister Marci Ien echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the Action Plan’s impact will stretch beyond its initial launch, reaffirming the government’s commitment to a truly inclusive Canada.
Inclusive Language Evolution
Recognizing the fluidity of language, the Government of Canada, in consultation with 2SLGBTQI+ communities nationwide, has embraced and encouraged the use of the 2SLGBTQI+ acronym.
This more encompassing acronym underscores the experiences of Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ communities as North America’s original 2SLGBTQI+ individuals. It stands for Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional sexually and gender diverse people.
Between the fall of 2020 and the summer of 2021, the Government embarked on a rigorous community engagement process. This endeavor solicited insights through 25,636 survey responses, 102 written submissions, and extensive roundtable discussions involving over 100 participants.
A Trailblazing Legacy of Equality
In recent years, Canada has undertaken a series of historic actions to propel the cause of 2SLGBTQI+ equality. From appointing a Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 issues to updating legislation to protect gender identity and expression, Canada has demonstrated a commitment to progress.
A Promising Future
With the launch of the Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan, Canada reiterates its dedication to creating a more inclusive society for all. By embracing diversity, celebrating individuality, and advancing equality, the nation paves the way for a brighter, more united future.