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ADDED ON: 04/24/2021

What’s in Canada’s budget for LGBTQ2S+ people?

4/23/21 | Daily Xtra

After the pandemic wiped out decades of progress for gender equality in Canada, most especially in terms of women’s participation in the workforce, the Liberal government’s budget this week promises an “inclusive, intersectional recovery that builds a truly equitable society.” They’re bold words, but if you look through the budget documents, you’ll find that Trudeau’s Liberals have been putting the work in for LGBTQ2S+ Canadians—more than any other government has in our history. There is dedicated funding for queer communities in two particular tranches of the budget, which appears to be new money and not a re-announcement of previous initiatives. One line item directs $15 million over three years to the department of Women and Gender Equality to create a new LGBTQ2 Project Fund, the goal of which is to support “community-informed initiatives” that are aimed at overcoming issues facing queer communities, such as mental health services or employment support. (The Liberals previously offered up $15 million, divided among 76 organizations, as part of its LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund project.) The second envelope directs $7.1 million over three years to Canadian heritage to support the work of the government’s LGBTQ2 Secretariat, whose function is to co-ordinate work across government on queer issues. The goal of these funds is the development of an LGBTQ2 Action Plan, which Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger’s mandate letter says “would guide the work of the federal government on issues important to LGBTQ2 Canadians.” There are certainly questions as to whether these funds—particularly the LGBTQ2 Project Fund, with its ambitious goal to help support dozens of community organziations with a relatively small sum of money—will be enough to address the needs of queer communities. “After decades of chronic underfunding of our communities and the services that keep them healthy, we are disappointed in the continued under-resourcing of 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations,” wrote one LGBTQ2S+ consultation organization in its analysis of the budget.

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