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November 20th, 2023

With growing concerns for trans safety, NDP calls on Liberals to take action for better protections

OTTAWA – On Monday, the NDP 2SLGBTQI+ caucus, including NDP MPs Randall Garrison, Blake Desjarlais and Lisa Marie Barron, demanded that the Liberals stop delaying better protections for trans and gender-diverse Canadians. Their call comes after growing concerns with Conservative premiers stoking trans hate in Canada.

“Every Canadian deserves to feel safe and welcomed in their community. But what we’ve been seeing over the last few years is that trans and gender-diverse Canadians are experiencing higher levels of hate, and it’s starting to trickle into Conservative policies,” said Barron. “It’s not okay, and something needs to change, which is why New Democrats, with the help of the trans community, have offered up real safety solutions. All the Liberals have to do is implement them.”

In the last five years, 39 per cent of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians have reported experiencing violence – and this number is likely even higher as many trans people feel unsafe reporting violence.

In the spring, Garrison tabled a report which included 29 recommendations to move trans rights forward by increasing funding for supporting and creating trans and gender-diverse organizations, making comprehensive gender-affirming health care a reality across Canada, and working with the community on combating anti-trans hate and violence. But after a summer filled with Conservative premiers moving forward with policies that would make schools an unsafe place for trans and gender-diverse kids, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have not taken action.

“Conservatives are actively trying to spread division and hate, which they’ve now brought to our schools and kids,” said Desjarlais. “But, Pierre Poilievre refuses to talk about it or acknowledge the danger this creates to kids, for him, the division earns political points. Then there’s Justin Trudeau, who, on the one hand, says all the right things, and on the other doesn’t move forward with any plan to make Canada safer and more welcoming for trans kids.”

“After decades of leaving 2SLGBTQI+ people to suffer in silence, changes are long overdue. I’m glad to have worked alongside some fantastic trans activists in making these critical recommendations,” said Garrison. “But the government can’t keep delaying, there’s too much at risk if they do – and we know the Conservatives aren’t going to step up to protect trans and gender diverse Canadians. New Democrats are urging the Liberals to adopt these important recommendations so that we can keep everyone can feel safe and secure.”