Government of Canada Invests in LGBTQ2 communities in Western Canada

News release

August 15, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta – Women and Gender Equality Canada

The Government of Canada is making a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ2 people from coast to coast to coast through investments that will build stronger, more resilient LGBTQ2 community organizations, networks, and infrastructure.

Today the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and, Randy Boissonnault, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, announced more than $1 million in funding for three national LGBTQ2 organizations to build a better, more diverse, and more inclusive Canada:  

  • Canadian Rainbow Coalition for Refuge will receive up to $150,000 to further support collaboration among LGBTQ2 refugee civil society organizations in Canada, to develop expertise and establish lessons learned to ensure that LGBTQ2 refugee newcomers feel safe, can access resources, and find community in their new homes;
  • Enchanté: a Network of 2SLGBTQ+ Centres of Canada will receive up to $700,000 to strengthen its organizational capacity to undertake its incorporation and expansion across Canada. It will also organize its founding national assembly, and launch a training program for executive directors. In addition, Enchanté will provide microgrants to strengthen LGBTQ2 centres across Canada; and,
  • 2 Spirits in Motion Foundation, will receive up to $200,000 to strengthen its organizational capacity and foster safe and supportive environments for Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBTQ2 people in Canada through collaborative knowledge generation and a national Two-Spirit gathering. This project will include the development of a new strategic plan for future expansion, and micro grants to support local and regional Two-Spirit organizations in Canada.

This funding is part of the historic $20 million investment in Budget 2019 to support the capacity-building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2 organizations. These investments will help address the unique needs and gaps in services to LGBTQ2 people in Canada by enabling growth among LGBTQ2 community organizations across the country. 

Quotes

“We all have the right to live with respect, safety and freedom. That is why our government is taking important steps to address past and current discrimination against LGBTQ2 people across Canada, and to celebrate and strengthen our country’s diversity. By funding LGBTQ2 community organizations like the Canadian Rainbow Coalition for Refuge, Enchanté and the 2 Spirits in Motion Foundation, we are building on decades of advocacy work, and helping to create an inclusive future where everyone – regardless of who they love or how they identify – has an equal and fair chance at success.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“Diversity is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, yet LGBTQ2 Canadians continue to face significant challenges, including higher rates of violence and discrimination. Investing in LGBTQ2 organizations will create new opportunities to improve the lives of LGBTQ2 people throughout Canada, and indeed, for all Canadians.”

Randy Boissonnault
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues
Member of Parliament, Edmonton Centre

“We are thankful that the Government of Canada is investing in our work to improve the experience and lives of LGBTQ refugees arriving to Canada. Queer and Trans refugees bring hopes of safety and belonging when they settle in Canada, knowing that Canada is a country where their rights are protected regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. In more than 70 countries, Queer and Trans people are criminalized, subject to torture or extreme violence. Today’s funding will help create a Canada-wide approach to supporting LGBTQ2 refugees that will stand as an example of how government and civil society can work together for positive, productive change.”

Sharalyn Jordan
Canadian Rainbow Coalition for Refuge

“When we eliminate discrimination and build inclusive communities for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals, we improve mental health, create opportunities, and save lives. We are thrilled that the Government of Canada recognizes the value and potential in our community groups and centres, and are thankful for this investment. With this financial support, we will build a supportive network of organizations serving 2SLGBTQ+ people in every province and territory. The strength in Enchanté will mean that whatever town, region or city a 2SLGBTQ+ person lives in, they can count on an organization nearby that will have access to our resources and supports.”

Mike Tutthill
Enchanté: a Network of 2SLGBTQ+ Centres of Canada

“Two-Spirit people were an integral part of Indigenous communities generations before settlers arrived to North America. Colonial laws and practices erased and suppressed Two-Spirit Indigenous values, beliefs and identities. This funding is a first step in reclaiming these identities and building safe and supportive environments for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ2 people within Indigenous and non-indigenous communities across Canada.”

Keith McCrady
2 Spirits in Motion Foundation

Quick facts

  • Status of Women Canada became Women and Gender Equality Canada in December 2018 with an expanded mandate that includes the advancement of equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.  

  • In addition to the $20 million investment in Budget 2019 to support capacity-building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2 organizations, the Government of Canada has also made the following investments:

    • Global Affairs Canada has announced over $30 million to improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2 people in developing countries;
    • The Federal Tourism Growth Strategy includes major investments in Pride events across Canada;
    • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced increased support for LGBTQ2 refugees fleeing violence and persecution through the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership; and
    • Canadian Heritage has set aside $2 million over two years under the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program for Pride and LGBTQ2 events.

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Associated links

Contacts

Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality
343-549-8825

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-8684

Riley Schnurr
LGBTQ2 Liaison
Office of the Special Advisor on LGBTQ2 Issues
613-992-4524

Media Relations
Privy Council Office
613-957-5420


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