CCGSD reacts to newly announced 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan
September 1, 2022
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) welcomes the announcement of Canada’s first-ever Federal 2SLGBTQ+ Action Plan. This report provides historic commitments to Two Spirit communities, and the commitment to supporting Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ resilience and resurgence is truly something to be celebrated. However, given that the major financial commitment – $100 million in funding for 2SLGBTQI+ communities – was unveiled in April as part of the 2022 federal budget, this is more of a compilation of already-announced funds and initiatives than a concrete plan for change.
The promise of a 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan had the potential to be transformative for queer and trans communities nationwide, but this document does not live up to that potential. The needs of 2SLGBTQI+ people in key policy areas – housing, health, and education, to name a few – are explored in-depth in the annex, but not connected to commitments within the action plan itself. As a member of Dignity Network Canada, we are disappointed to not see new commitments on Canada’s role in advancing 2SLGBTQI+ rights around the world, including support for LGBTQIA+ refugees. The Action Plan also fails to address the unique challenges faced by transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people.
As a youth-led, youth-serving organization, CCGSD knows young people play a pivotal role in building a future free from discrimination. Statistics Canada data published in 2021 established that over one-third of the million Canadians who identify as 2SLGBTQI+ are under the age of 25 (compared to 14% of non-2SLGBTQI+ people). Youth are within Minister Marci Ien’s portfolio, so we were frustrated by the lack of commitments specifically for young 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians within the Action Plan. CCGSD will continue pushing for the needs of young queer and trans people through the 2023 budget cycle and beyond.
Additionally, while this Action Plan has been called a “whole-of-government approach”, almost all of the public-focused funding and programmatic commitments come from within Women and Gender Equality (WAGE). With the exception of an awareness campaign, the rest of the plan’s funding commitments are for initiatives focused within the Canadian federal public service, rather than new projects under the purview of other federal departments like Health Canada or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In the coming weeks, CCGSD staff will be continuing to analyze the federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan to determine the next steps decision makers across the country need to take. We are curious about how it stacks up against the recommendations we and other civil society organizations made during its development in 2021, as well as comparing it to commitments to queer and trans communities that have been made in other countries at the national level. We are also eager to read and amplify the public responses of our colleagues across the sector to this plan, and to continue working with decision makers at all levels to determine the next steps for 2SLGBTQI+ people, especially youth, across the country.
Jaime Sadgrove, Manager of Communications and Advocacy
Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity