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Greater legal resources coming for LGBTQ2 communities

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 @ 2:02 PM | By Terry Davidson

Canada’s government is increasing legal supports for those in LGBTQ2 communities who have been left vulnerable during the COVID-19 health crisis.

According to a Sept. 8 news release, Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti announced $125,784 in funding for Egale Canada, a non-profit aiming “to improve the lives of LGBTQ2 people … by informing public policy, and promoting human rights and inclusion, through research, education, awareness and legal advocacy.”

The funding, provided through the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program, will go toward answering an increased demand for legal information for those “disproportionately affected” by the ongoing pandemic.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti

The release notes that the development of webinars will assist those “experiencing unique and exacerbated access to justice challenges” related to housing, employment and immigration.

“LGBTQ2 rights are human rights, and no one should have to face additional hardships because of who they are or who they love,” said Lametti in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Egale Canada to provide additional support to LGBTQ2 Canadians who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the increased needs of the community during this already challenging time.”

The release points to an Egale Canada study from April which found that 52 per cent of LGBTQ2 households have faced layoffs or reduced employment as a result of the pandemic, compared to 39 per cent of overall households, and that 60 per cent of LGBTQ2 respondents expected their mental health to be negatively impacted, compared to 42 per cent of the general public.

“Through our recent national research, we know that the LGBTQI2S community is facing alarmingly disproportionate impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Egale executive director Helen Kennedy. “This funding from Justice Canada will help us address the gaps we’re seeing in immigration, housing and employment by providing LGBTQI2S people across Canada with the resources and supports they need during this difficult time.”

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