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e-4666 (Civil and human rights)

Initiated by Fae Johnstone from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Despite progress, trans and gender diverse people in Canada continue to be denied full equality, denied the freedom to be themselves, and denied the safety and acceptance every Canadian deserves;
  • In 2017, Canada showed global leadership by extending human rights protections to trans people with the passage of Bill C-16. While a historic move, we have much more work to do to ensure that equality on paper means equality in practice;
  • Trans and gender diverse Canadians are more likely to be homeless, to live in poverty, and to face harassment and hate in their daily lives. Discrimination and stigma, worsened by the recent rise in anti-2SLGBTQIA+ hate, contribute to poor social, economic and health outcomes for 2SLGBTQIA+ people;
  • Universal public healthcare is a core Canadian value, and gender-affirming care is healthcare, but there are significant issues with access to and coverage of gender-affirming care across Canada. The Government of Canada has a responsibility to show leadership in this area; and
  • In June 2023, MP Randall Garrison’s White Paper on the Status of Trans and Gender Diverse People was tabled in the House of Commons. This document offers a comprehensive overview of problems facing trans and gender diverse people in Canada and 29 specific policy solutions to advance full equality.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to implement the recommendations from the White Paper on the Status of Trans and Gender Diverse People.

Response by the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Lisa Hepfner

Canada is a country built on the values of diversity, inclusion and respect for human rights. Enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, equality rights are intended to ensure that everyone is treated with the same respect, dignity and consideration, regardless of personal characteristics such as race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, mental or physical disability, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, from coast to coast to coast. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting and protecting the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, including transgender and gender diverse people. Working to address stigma and discrimination is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to 2SLGBTQI+ communities. The recommendations in the white paper are even more timely today and we are committed to continuing the work outlined in this document. Stigma and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sex characteristics, gender identity and expression continue to be a reality in Canada, and contribute to significant health, social and economic inequities that are felt by 2SLGBTQI+ people on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this situation is being further worsened by the recent and disturbing rise in hate targeting 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

This Government has taken several actions to address discrimination and work towards improved health, social and economic outcomes for 2SLGBTQI+ people. Highlights include:


  • As part of Canada’s Action Plan on Combatting Hate, Budget 2024 announced $12 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Women and Gender Equality Canada to fund projects aimed at combatting hate against the 2SLGBTQI+ community, as well as $3 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to support security needs for Pride festivals;
  • In December 2023, the Government of Canada announced its initial commitments to modernize the Employment Equity Act, which will include creating two new designated groups under the Act: 2SLGBTQI+ and Black people;
  • Dedicated Community Capacity and Projects funding to support 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations as they advocate for and deliver services to 2SLGBTQI+ people;

Health Canada’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund supports community-based organizations that help make access to abortion, gender affirming, and other sexual and reproductive health care information and services more accessible for underserved populations, including Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary (TTNB) young people and their families. Through Budget 2021 and 2023, $81 million has been committed to the fund over 6 years.

Since its creation in 2021, three organizations have been funded for projects focused on improving access to gender-affirming care.

  • Trans Care BC has received almost $6.9 million for two projects that help address barriers to accessing gender-affirming health care and health disparities experienced by TTNB people. To address discrimination and lack of provider knowledge, educational resources have been developed for health care providers and TTBN people living in BC. By sharing knowledge and research related to best practices, the ongoing project is also addressing mis/dis-information campaigns that are active in BC and across Canada which affect TTNB children and youth and are a barrier to care for 2SLGBTQI+ communities and caregiver decision-making.
  • Hamilton Trans Health Coalition has received just over $15,000. Their project, completed in June 2023, engaged Canadian gender-affirming health care providers to identify the scope of harassment, intimidation, and threats they experience, and highlight best practices and strategies to address them.
  • Sherbourne Health Centre has received approximately $569,000. Their project, completed in March 2024, addressed the gap in access to inclusive, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for 2SLGBTQI+ communities by advancing the capacity of health care providers to competently provide safe, affirming, and accurate information and service provision.
  • Criminalizing so-called ‘conversion therapies’ in 2022.

More work remains to address discrimination and the inequities experienced by 2SLGBTQI+ people, and to build a safer, more inclusive country. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing to advance this work, in collaboration with 2SLGBTQI+ communities, through the first Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan. Launched in 2022, and supported by an investment of $100 million, the Action Plan guides the Government of Canada’s work to advance rights and equality for 2SLGBTQI+ people, in partnership with 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Through these government initiatives we are committed to addressing the rising rhetoric of hate towards this community through measures that will combat hate and create inclusive communities. It’s simple trans rights are human rights.

Open for signature
November 8, 2023, at 8:25 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 7, 2024, at 8:25 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke)
April 29, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02415)
Government response tabled
June 10, 2024
Photo - Randall Garrison
New Democratic Party Caucus
British Columbia