National Newswatch

Feds talk a good game when it comes to equity, but are flailing when it comes to strong data, states Auditor General report

Jun 8 2022 — Dale Smith — When analyzing the efficacy and fairness of services delivered by governments, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution—to any of it. Since 1995, the Canadian federal government has committed to a gender-based analysis (GBA) of its programs and services, and in 2011, that became known as GBA Plus in order to recognize other intersectional identities that […]

Is it possible to feel anything other than dread for this Ontario election?

May 19 2022 — Dale Smith — Ontario’s election is now well underway and it’s hard to feel anything other than dread at the dearth of reasonable options being presented to voters at the ballot box on June 2. This should have been an election whose narrative was to hold Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford and his merry band of incompetent clowns […]

How would the overturn of Roe v. Wade affect Canada?

May 9 2022 — Dale Smith — The leaked draft from the United States’ Supreme Court, which appears to overturn the 50-year-old decision that made abortions legal in the U.S., has already had repercussions in Canada. Eager to capitalize on a chance to divide the Conservatives, Liberal and Bloc Québécois MPs began poking into the issue during Question Period on Tuesday and […]

LGBTQ+ refugees, Canada and Guatemala

Apr 20 2022 — Dale Smith — During my interview with Canadian immigration minister Sean Fraser a few weeks ago, he was very keen to talk about the federal government’s efforts with regard to refugees in Central America, particularly queer and trans refugees. This was following Fraser’s first official foreign visit as a minister at the end of 2021, to Guatemala. Fraser […]

Canada’s government promises $100 million for its new LGBTQ2S+ action plan

Apr 11 2022 — Dale Smith — The federal budget contains promises to queer and trans communities to the tune of 100 million new dollars to help fund the forthcoming LGBTQ2 Action Plan. According to the Liberal Party’s election platform, this plan was supposed to have been delivered within the first 100 days of cabinet being sworn in, but they missed this […]

Canadian immigration minister Sean Fraser says he’s committed to LGBTQ2S+ refugees

Mar 26 2022 — Dale Smith — Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser has a lot on his plate right now with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis. That’s on top of the commitment to resettle at least 40,000 Afghans, including members of the country’s LGBTQ+ communities, facing violence under Taliban rule, and a labour shortage […]

A national mental health plan could benefit LGBTQ2S+ communities across Canada

Feb 24 2022 — Dale Smith — After the last election, the federal government created the first-ever addictions and mental health Cabinet portfolio, as a complement to the actions of the federal health minister. While delivery of health care is largely a provincial responsibility, it is the intention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to work with the provinces to implement newly proposed […]

What does Erin O’Toole’s ousting mean for LGBTQ2S+ communities?

Feb 9 2022 — Dale Smith — Last Wednesday, Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole was ousted from his party’s leadership after a vote of non-confidence in caucus, leaving questions around the direction the party will take in the future—or if it will even remain a united party going forward. O’Toole made a big show of outreach to the LGBTQ2S+ communities on the […]

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board updates guidelines for LGBTQ2S+ claimants—but there’s more work to be done

Jan 28 2022 — Dale Smith — A queer man is turned away from a refugee claim because the term for his same-sex partner in his native language translates to “girlfriend”; a bisexual person loses their refugee claim because their understanding of bisexuality differs from Western definitions; a queer person seeking refugee status is asked to share his Grindr profile to verify […]

Marci Ien is Canada’s new representative for LGBTQ2S+ issues. What’s her plan?

Nov 17 2021 — Dale Smith — During October’s Cabinet shuffle, there was not only a shake up of ministers but also some of the responsibilities within ministerial portfolios. Case in point: the LGBTQ2S+ file. While Bardish Chagger was responsible for queer and trans issues in the previous parliament in her role as minister of diversity and inclusion and youth, that responsibility—and […]