LGBTQI2S+ Initiatives

"Canada’s history is marked by the tireless work of LGBTQI2S+ advocates to advance civil and human rights."

LGBTQI2S+ Initiatives

Canada’s history is marked by the tireless work of LGBTQI2S+ advocates to advance civil and human rights. In advocating for hard-fought victories like same-sex marriage and adding transgender and gender expression protection to the Canadian Human Rights Act, LGBTQI2S+ communities have been at the forefront of Canada’s progress on rights.

But there is still much to do. Government policies and services continue to be pervaded by prejudice, and too many Canadians who identify as LGBTQI2S+ find themselves the targets of structural discrimination. From the inability to access necessary and appropriate healthcare, to increased harassment by law enforcement, our governments have allowed Canadians to suffer as a result of their sexuality or gender identity. This has to end, starting with concrete moves by the federal government.

That’s why as Leader of the NDP and Prime Minister, I will bring federal leadership to this issue by working with the provinces to ensure access to health care is based on physical needs rather than outdated gender stereotypes, especially concerning trans and intersex health care.

Internationally, and often in hostile environments, LGBTQI2S+ communities are bravely fighting to educate lawmakers. Canada should be exercising its diplomatic influence and doing more to support local communities and NGOs in their efforts to decriminalize LGBTQI2S+ discrimination and persecution. In Canada, immigration and refugee policies must recognize the particular danger people who identify as LGBTQI2S+ may be fleeing.

As Leader of the NDP and Prime Minister, I will also work with advocates and experts from every intersection of Canada’s LGBTQI2S+ communities to advance justice for all. This work must begin immediately, by removing systemic barriers that threaten LGBTQI2S+ Canadians’ safety, security and sense of belonging.  

Together, it is our duty to build a Canada where everyone is free to live safely, to have equity and dignity.

LGBTQI2S+ Youth Housing Initiative

LGBTQI2S+ youth are particularly vulnerable to homelessness, because services designed to assist homeless youth are often unsafe or inaccessible to those who identify as LGBTQI2S+. This is unacceptable.

A Jagmeet Singh-led government will expand the mandate and funding of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy to directly address the needs of LGBTQI2S+ youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Jagmeet will work with the provinces to ensure adequate training for service providers so they become LGBTQI2S+ affirming, safe and supportive. This approach will:

  • Alter provincial Child Welfare best practices to ensure LGBTQI2S+ youth are not put in queer- or trans-antagonistic placements.

  • Create and fund an opt-in registry of foster placements that have received appropriate competency training and are approved as safe homes for LGBTQI2S+ youth.

  • Train shelter and housing service providers to ask all clients about sexual and gender identities during intake; to understand the difference between assigned sex at birth and gender identity; to use a client’s correct name and pronouns; to intervene in cases of homophobia and transphobia; all in order to provide appropriate services and safe spaces for LGBTQI2S+ youth.

  • Engage with LGBTQI2S+ advocacy groups to develop and engage RCMP in LGBTQI2S+ competency training to ensure interactions with law enforcement are not stigmatizing or traumatizing.

Jagmeet will create and/or modify shelters and transitional housing facilities to serve the needs of LGBTQI2S+ youth. This will:

  • Prioritize the hiring of LGBTQI2S+ staff.

  • End segregation of facilities by assigned sex or gender, which creates an exclusionary and potentially hostile space for gender non-conforming youth.

  • Add private bathrooms and changerooms to all shelters and housing programs.

  • Give queer and trans competency training to incoming clients, as well as train staff to ensure the standard of a LGBTQI2S+ affirming, safe and supportive space in shelters and transitional housing facilities.

  • Build connections with LGBTQI2S+ community organizations as well as queer- and trans-friendly medical and mental health services, in order to refer LGBTQI2S+ clients to broader support networks.

Gender Equity in Federal ID Initiative

 Due to regressive, invasive and non-supportive systems, many trans and non-binary Canadians face great difficulty changing the gender marker on their official identification. Displaying gender on ID and collecting individual-specific data on gender is itself a remnant of a time when important rights, such as property ownership and voting, were gender-dependent. We can do better.

That’s why a Jagmeet Singh-led government will immediately ensure gender appropriate federal ID is available and easily accessible. This will:

  • Allow applicants to self-declare gender, and include a non-binary gender option X on federal documents, including passports and immigration identification, without requiring medical documentation or additional fees to update already issued ID

  • Update the Secure Air Travel Act and remove the regulatory requirement for individuals to possess gender markers on their ID in order to board aircrafts to allow provinces the freedom to remove gender completely on ID they issue

  • Ensure LGBTQI2S+ competency training is part of general training for Canadian Border Service Agents and RCMP, including specific training on gender identity and expression

  • Play a leadership role internationally by advocating at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization, which regulates travel documents, to remove the requirement for gender markers on travel documents internationally

  • Require federal agencies that do collect gender information to do so separately from individual identification and include a non-binary option X to ensure gender data is not connected to a specific individual

  • Update the Census to include questions specific to the LGBTQI2S+ community to ensure data is available for further research and policy initiatives at the federal, provincial and municipal level  

  • Work with provinces to remove gender fields from provincial ID, and ensure that the same self-identification standards and barrier-free access principles are respected

Health Canada

 As Canada’s federal health regulator, Health Canada is uniquely placed to collect data and conduct research on the health issues of LGBTQI2S+ Canadians. That’s why a Jagmeet-led government will:

  • Fund the collection of anonymized data to conduct research on the health care needs and experiences of LGBTQI2S+ folks, particularly trans and intersex individuals, to ensure provinces are able to improve access to and experience in their health care systems

  • Advocate for policy changes around non-medically necessary surgery at birth for babies born intersex to allow them to self-identify their gender at a later age

Repeal the Blood Ban

 As Prime Minister, Jagmeet Singh will immediately repeal the discriminatory and regressive ban on blood, tissue and organ donation by men who have sex with men and trans women who have sex with men. 

A Jagmeet-led government will reorient blood, tissue and organ donation towards individual risk assessments.