Canada is Not Immune!
On Wednesday, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader Maxime Bernier announced an official policy to dismantle laws that protect 2SLGBTQ+ human rights, law they label as being “part of an extreme radical evil agenda targeting women and children.” This is yet another example of hateful rhetoric and legislative violence targeting 2SLGBTQ+ communities, fueling tension through unfounded pitting of marginalized groups against each other.
Bernier, who is running in Manitoba’s Portage-Lisgar June federal by-election said that if elected to power, the PPC would work to modify the Criminal Code to include:
· considering anyone who supports trans kids and youth to be criminal;
· outlawing gender-affirming procedures including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, etc.;
· reversing the criminalization of conversion therapy and ,
· enforcing parts of the Criminal Code to designate 2SLGBTQ+ books and learning materials as “inappropriate pornographic content,” removing it from educational and healthcare settings, among others.
Make no mistake: this growth in anti-2SLGBTQ+ radicalism is not something that came out of thin air. It is a coordinated effort across many fringe – and not-so-fringe – groups that are intently focused on breeding feelings of discomfort, distrust, and disgust towards trans people, based on misinformation regarding health, biology, and gender. This is incredibly dangerous rhetoric. They are falsely associating trans people with deviancy and coercion, denying the reality that trans people exist, putting us back in the closet, and ensuring that women, racialized communities, and other marginalized groups are halted and divided in our pursuits of justice and equity.
If, up until now, you continued to believe that we enjoy safety and self-determination in Canada, let this be a pressing reminder that we do not. Canada is not immune to transphobia, anti-trans hate, and violence. We are being called to wake up. It is up to us to continue challenging the hate and bigotry that exists in our institutions, legislations, city, and beyond.
The 519 condemns Bernier’s proposed policies. They violate human rights, criminalize gender-affirming care, and risk the health, safety, and meaningful participation and contributions of trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse people. His proposed regressive and bigoted policies will further attack the hard-won rights and well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ communities. We must answer this call to action and shut down this hate. This type of violent policy and rhetoric has no place in our cities, country, or world.
As Manitoba goes to the polls on June 19, we encourage Manitobans to reject hate-filled platforms and exercise their right to vote in favour of human rights, and safety for all. The privilege to exercise choice in our leadership is precisely that, a privilege. We have a responsibility to shape our world and make our voices heard through the votes we cast, that identity who will be entrusted with making decisions on behalf of our communities.
This Pride, we call on all our allies to go beyond the rosy ideals of “love is love”. Our community’s very existence is being called into question. Trans lives are in danger. Allyship is a verb. This Pride, like the very first one, is political.
It is time for dedicated action to protect trans futures. To protect 2SLGBTQ+ futures. Join us. The time is NOW.