In Canada and around the world, 2SLGBTQI people are facing a rising tide of hatred, discrimination and violence. Canada’s unions are marking the 2022 Pride season by standing in solidarity with 2SLGBTQI communities and against these growing attacks on human rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and sex characteristics.
Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention No. 190 (ILO C-190) and affirm the right to a world of work free from harassment and violence. The government must also implement a federal LGBTQ2S+ action plan that addresses a range of action areas including health care, mental health, poverty reduction, justice reform and international assistance, among others. This should be backed by funding for 2SLGBTQI organizations providing essential services and supporting 2SLGBTQI people across the country.
“Pride season is a time for celebration and support for 2SLGBTQI communities. But racist and anti-gender movements have become increasingly bold, putting human rights and peoples’ lives at risk,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “Whether it be the wave of homophobic and transphobic bills being introduced across the United States, to increased hate crimes against 2SLGBTQI people here in Canada, we are seeing unprecedented and calculated assaults on 2SLGBTQI rights. We are committed to standing in solidarity with 2SLGBTQI folks and calling on our governments to do more to protect everyone’s basic right to live free from harassment and violence.”
2SLGBTQI people also experience other forms of violence and discrimination, which can impact access to health care, housing and employment. Just last month, the CLC and researchers from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto released initial findings from a national survey on workplace harassment and violence in Canada. It found that 73 percent of gender-diverse respondents reported having experienced sexual harassment and violence at work.
“We have some important victories to celebrate this Pride season, like the fact that conversion therapy is now illegal and the end to the discriminatory blood ban. But we remain vigilant and continue to fight for the rights of 2SLGBTQI people,” said Larry Rousseau, Executive Vice‑President of the CLC. “From the ratification of ILO C-190, to improving access and inclusion across all public services, there is still much work to be done.”
Following muted Pride festivities throughout the first two years of the pandemic, this year, there is a shift back towards in-person events. We urge labour councils, local unions and union members to take part and show your support for 2SLGBTQI rights, whether in-person or online.
Together, let’s move #ForwardWithPride.
Unions across Canada will be participating and visible in Pride events in their regions. Click here for a full list of Pride events and to find one near you.
Check out the CLC’s Workers in Transition Guide on how to best support trans workers and combat transphobia in the workplace.