Government of Canada working with Pride Toronto to improve safety of LGBTQ2 communities 

News release

November 24, 2018
Toronto, Ottawa
Public Safety Canada

All Canadians deserve to feel safe and to have their most fundamental rights protected. That is why it is important for the Government of Canada to work to address the historical and ongoing inequality faced by people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2). This is a vital part of the Government of Canada’s effort to create a stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive society.

Today, the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, announced that the Government of Canada is committed to working with Pride Toronto on an initiative to increase the safety of Toronto LGBTQ2 communities.                                                                                                              

With support from Public Safety Canada, Pride Toronto proposes an initiative to  improve the relationship between Toronto LGBTQ2 communities and the criminal justice system; increase understanding of LGBTQ2 offending and victimization (including hate crimes); and contribute to the implementation of educational and prevention tools for both victims and offenders in this community.

Working with Canadian Heritage, Pride Toronto also proposes to raise awareness among Canadians of the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. With support from Canadian Heritage, Pride Toronto intends to highlight this significant moment in our history and how it shaped Canada as a truly diverse and inclusive country.

The Government of Canada will provide $450,000 for this initiative expected to begin in early 2019.

Quotes

“For too long, the LGBTQ2 community has encountered injustice from various institutions in our society. The fact is, we must do better. Together, with Pride Toronto, our Government is committed to supporting safer, more resilient LGBTQ2 communities. We know that when we remove barriers to success and make our communities safe and welcoming places to live, every Canadian benefits.”

- The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Nearly 50 years ago, Canada adopted a law decriminalizing homosexuality. This decision was a pivotal moment in the ongoing work to advance LGBTQ2 rights and equality in Canada. Today, we are proud to support the efforts of organizations like Pride Toronto, who is celebrating the spirit of this important anniversary and the continued work towards equal rights that ensued.”

- The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“Pride Toronto has been working on ways to partner with community agencies to develop collaborative approaches to addressing the community safety concerns of LGBTQ2+ communities. This initiative will help us devise a roadmap to better understand how we address the concerns we have heard over many years. We are thankful to the federal government for their pledge of support, which will help us start to improve safety in LGBTQ2+ communities.”

- Olivia Nuamah, Executive Director, Pride Toronto

Quick facts

  • Recent studies report that LGBTQ2 adults and youth disproportionately face hardships that are risk factors for criminal offending and victimization. Some of these factors include higher rates of poverty, overrepresentation in the youth homeless population, and overrepresentation in the foster care system. Despite these risk factors, there is a lack of study and available data on LGBTQ2 people who come into contact with the criminal justice system as offenders or as victims (Woods, Jordan Blair. LGBT Identity and Crime, 105 California Law Review. 667 (2017)).

  • Pride Toronto is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to bring people together to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of the LGBTQ2+ community.

  • In 1969, the Government of Canada passed an omnibus bill decriminalizing private sexual acts between same-sex persons over the age of 21. The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Associated links

Contacts

Scott Bardsley
Senior Advisor for Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613-998-5681
scott.bardsley@canada.ca

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
613-991-0657
ps.mediarelations-relationsaveclesmedias.sp@canada.ca


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