Ontario Votes 2011: NDP Party of Ontario answers Jer's Vision survey

10 Questions

  1. Bullying is still a big issue till today. In many schools across the province, there are many cases where kids are bullied for being a part of the LGBTQQ community.  They are feeling unsafe at school, being verbally, sexually and even physically harassed. What are you going to do about this issue?

New Democrats support the strong enforcement of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. We believe that government and school boards must enforce their equity policies and ensure that no student is subject to bullying due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason. Additionally, the fact that bullying remains such a common occurrence in Ontario’s schools underscores the need for GSAs. New Democrats such as NDP education critic Rosario Marchese have been vocal supporters of GSAs and we will work with education partners to make sure schools in Ontario have these important supports available to youth.

 

  1. Additionally, queer parents also face challenges from schools. Students are given projects (like family tree projects) and it becomes a struggle for some parents to get hesitant administrators to accommodate or recognize same sex couples. What are your solutions for this matter?

New Democrats supported the proposed changes to Ontario’s health curriculum that would have taught elementary school-aged children about family diversity and respect. Discrimination against any kind of family structure must not be tolerated.  

 

  1. In many countries, that also include Canada, it is a criminal offence to not disclose your HIV status to others before engaging in behaviours that risk transmitting it. The criminalization of HIV transmission: increases HIV transmission and reduces testing. What do you think about this problem and what would you do to change that?

New Democrats have met with groups concerned about the growing criminalization of HIV transmission and a lack of literacy about this complex issue. We are committed to working with these groups in order to ensure the necessary balancing of rights and the widely shared goal of lower transmission rates.

 

  1. Sex reassignment surgery is not fully included in the provincial health insurance What solutions do you propose for this issue?

New Democrats led the fight to re-instate sex reassignment surgery under OHIP after it was de-listed by the Conservative government. We are committed to working with transgender health care advocacy groups to address ongoing issues. NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has introduced legislation, multiple times, that would add gender identity to the Human Rights Code. Unfortunately, the McGuinty government has refused to support this legislation and have failed transgendered and transsexual Ontarians.

 

  1. At the end of 2008, there was an estimate of 65,000 people in Canada living with HIV. How do you plan to lower these numbers?

New Democrats have a plan to deliver excellent health care services to Ontarians. Our Plan for Affordable Change commits to 50 new family care clinics as well as supporting physicians in under-served communities. We know that the first step to prevention is accessible and culturally appropriate primary health care—and the NDP has a plan to make this a reality. We also understand that public education, easy access to testing, and a comprehensive health promotion plan are necessary for lowering infection rates.

 

  1. Canada has anti-sex work laws. Canadians should be free to have sex however they want, as long as it’s consensual. What are your views on this law? How would you resolve this problem?

Canada’s sex work laws are under federal jurisdiction and are regulated by the Criminal Code. Ontario’s New Democrats will continue to work to make all workplaces safer for everyone by combating discrimination, harassment and violence.

 

  1. Although many parents find it uncomfortable that their children are learning sex-ed, it is very important to have an age appropriate and non-judgemental sex education class that includes both gay and lesbian sex. Research indicates that it improves health outcomes for youth. What would you do to make this happen?

New Democrats support age appropriate, evidence-based sex education in Ontario’s schools. Information and education provide children and youth with the knowledge to make informed, healthy decisions for their entire lives.

 

  1. GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) is student-run club that brings together LGBTQQ and straight students to support each other, fight homophobia and transphobia and provide a safe environment. Not many schools have these clubs and in some, they are banned. How do you feel about this, and what would you do to change it?

New Democrats support the rights of students to organize GSAs and would ensure that Ontario’s existing equity policies are being respected. NDP MPP Rosario Marchese has been an outspoken supporter of GSAs and has called on the Ontario government to respect these equity policies by supporting GSAs.

 

  1. Not many gay athletes live out their lives proudly. We want to make it easier for them to do so because who you like does not affect your skills/talent. By finding a way to solve this problem we are also changing the culture of sport to be a more accepting, and also the homophobia in fans and sport critics. Do you support this idea, and what solutions do you have?

 

Yes, New Democrats support the goal of ensuring LGBTQ athletes can lead open and proud lives. Ensuring equity education in our schools is part of the solution. The Ontario NDP will work with sport and LGBTQ stakeholders to develop and implement other solutions to this serious problem.

 

  1. Canada’s funding formulas are excluding queer groups. An example cultural funding from the government of Ontario. How do you plan to resolve this matter?

Ontario’s New Democrats would ensure that no group is excluded from cultural funding due to discrimination.