This article was published on September 24th, 2019
Calling all Canucks: It’s time to gear up and get ready for the upcoming elections. The Canadian Federal election is coming up on Monday, October 21. Here is an overview of the LGBT views of each major party: Liberals, Conservative, Peoples Choice, NDP, and Green.
Let’s start with the big cahuna: Justin Trudeau and the liberal party. The current sitting Prime Minister of Canada has a long history of being an ally of the LGBT community. He is the first sitting Prime Minster of Canada to march in a gay Pride parade, he regularly attends Pride events, parades, and festivals across Canada, and pledges to do what he can for the LGBT community at large. Justin Trudeau is the current leader of the Liberal Party.
Trudeau’s antithesis, Andrew Sheer, is leader of the Conservative party. His stances are vehemently anti-gay, and the man is being extremely vocal against queer people. His voting record speaks for itself: voting against LGBT rights and legislation, time and time again. He even wanted to reverse gay marriage and LGBT rights – which is against the Canadian Carter of Rights and Freedoms (1982 Constitution Act).
The People’s Party of Canada is a new party, which is the division of the Conservative Party. They have not issued an LGBT strategy; however, it is likely their beliefs would be similar to the Conservative Party, considering their recent split with them. They’ve collected candidates with ties to hate and white supremest groups, as well as anti-abortion advocates.
The Green Party are retaining their public position held since at least 2016: They want to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to explicitly include gender identity and gender expression as protected grounds of discrimination, and amend the Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression in the hate sentencing and hate propaganda provisions. They are pro trans rights, want stronger criminal laws against bullying and cyber bullying, and want better access to HIV/AIDS education and prevention tools. The Green Party was the first party in Canada to officially endorse marriage equality for LGBT Canucks.
The National Democratic Party (NDP) has five main platform stances/ campaign promises for 2019 with regards to queer people: 1. A complete end to the blood ban against gay men. 2. Enact a national plan to ban conversion therapy for minors and Canada, while working to end the practice throughout the nation. 3. Improved access to gender-affirming procedures by working with the provinces and territories to ensure equal access to gender-affirming surgery across the country, and ensure that both surgeries and medication are covered by public health plans. 4. Establishing a clear and permanent path for resettlement for LGBTQ2+ refugees in Canada. And 5: Ending employment discrimination against LGBTQ2+ communities by adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the Employment Equity Act.
Meanwhile, the Canadian queer publication Xtra is partnering with several LGBT organizations to host a 5-city series attend their 4-part series across Canada for their Proud to Vote series of town hall meetings, both online and physically. Be a part of the discussion and join the Proud to Vote Debate Series October 8 and 9th.
Canadians: now is your chance to be a part of history and solidify queer rights further in Canadian society. It is imperative that everyone votes in the upcoming election. Monday, October 21st, 2019, make your gay voice be heard. The future generations are counting on us.