In recent years, the government has stepped up in the fight for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the rights of 2SLGBTQ people. This includes significant domestic and international funding for SRHR organizations and issues, and this year, the launch of Canada’s first-ever Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan and a historic investment of $100 million over five years for development and implementation. Canada’s leadership is more important than ever in the context of growing and interconnected anti-rights movements – anti-women, anti-trans, anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-democratic, etc. – and attacks on women’s rights, 2SLGBTQ rights, and gender equality.
The government must now take action to guarantee abortion access across Canada, address systemic barriers in healthcare access for marginalized groups, counter abortion misinformation and disinformation, and ensure high quality comprehensive sexual education is available for all young people in Canada. Some good first steps would be to reinvest and make permanent the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund, which is currently set to expire in 2024, and to deliver the promised funding for a sexual and reproductive health information portal for Canadians and for SRHR organizations working with youth. Internationally, Canada must increase its funding to advance the human rights and inclusion of LGBTQ people and appoint an Ambassador or Special Envoy on LGBTQ Rights.