Advancing the Just Society
In a just society, everyone participates freely and benefits fairly from our shared public goods, without prejudice or discrimination. While we have made great strides towards this goal, past gains cannot be taken for granted, and much remains to be done. Social justice is one of the six fundamental pillars of the Green movement. That is why the Green Party believes it is vital to place equity at the centre of policy-making.
Advancing Gender Equality
Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence committed or threatened against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. In Canada, GBV disproportionately affects women, girls and gender-diverse people.
Statistics compiled by the Victim Justice Network and the Canadian Women’s Foundation show that an estimated 362,000 children witness or experience family violence each year. Each day over 3,000 women (with their children) use an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence, while about 200 women (and their children) are turned away because the shelters are full. Every six days on average a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner.
Domestic violence accounts for about 12 per cent of all violent crime and, since fewer than a quarter of all incidents are reported to police, the real number is much higher. The Department of Justice says that costs associated with the aftermath of spousal violence – emergency room visits, funerals, future costs such as loss of income, and intangible costs such as pain and suffering – total $7.4 billion annually. This is unacceptable.
A Green government will:
- In collaboration with women’s and Indigenous organizations, develop a comprehensive Canada-wide plan of action – with a timetable and dedicated funding – to eliminate violence against women, girls and gender-diverse people.
- Implement all the recommendations of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
- Increase access to shelters by investing $40 million over four years in the Shelter Enhancement Program, providing more than 2,100 new and renovated spaces in first-stage shelters and hundreds of spaces in transition houses.
- Increase funding to bolster investigations and convictions in human trafficking cases.
- Develop an action plan to end violence against women and gender-diverse peoples
- Implement all recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report
- Make the sex work industry legal
- Ban and condemn the practice of conversion therapy
- Ensure access to gender-affirming health care
- Require accessible and gender-neutral facilities in all federal buildings
- Ensure funding for the protection of Indigenous languages at risk
Protecting Sex Workers
The Green Party supports labour rights for sex workers to ensure that they are able to control their working conditions, conduct business in a safe and healthy environment, and have recourse to legal remedies when these conditions are not provided. For those who turn to sex work as their only economic option, our policy of establishing a Guaranteed Livable Income could provide an economic alternative.
A Green government will:
- Reform sex work laws in Canada with a clear focus on harm reduction, given the dangers that sex trade workers face. Making the industry legal and public will allow sex workers to access law enforcement and social services when needed.
- Increase funding of community organizations providing services to those driven to sex work by economic deprivation.
Advancing LGBTQI2+ Rights
“Politics is just one piece of the puzzle of how change happens, but it is a crucial piece.”
There has been considerable progress in the ongoing campaign for LGBTQI2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex, Two Spirit, plus) equality in Canada with significant and rapid changes to legislation on same-sex benefits and pensions and prohibitions against harrassment and discrimination. But there is still a lot to do.
The Green Party called for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the 1980s, the first political party to do so. Greens believe that consensual sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and that acceptance and celebration of LGBTQI2+ people and identities are essential for genuine social justice and equity. We affirm that gender identity is each person’s individual experience of gender, that everyone has the right to define and freely express their gender, and that intersex people have the right to live with complete bodily autonomy. We affirm that all young people deserve access to safe and comprehensive sex education based on a thorough understanding of diverse sexualities, diverse genders, intersex biology and informed consent.
A Green government will:
- Repeal all federal laws and policies that are discriminatory on the grounds of sexuality, including Section 159 of the Criminal Code, and that refer to intersex reality as a defect, aberration, or by any other derogatory terms.
- Establish a funding program within Health Canada to support community-based organizations offering targeted LGBTQI2+ youth’s mental health and well-being programs, including suicide prevention, peer support, coming out, and counselling.
- Fund community-driven education and awareness programs that lead to a greater understanding of intersex realities and the diversity of sexualities and gender identities, and referral programs to direct for trans*, non-binary and Two Spirit people to appropriate services.
- End the discriminatory blood ban.
- Ban and condemn the practice of medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children.
- Ban and condemn the practice of conversion therapy, in all its forms.
- Ensure access to comprehensive sexual health care and gender affirming health care, including hormone treatments and blockers, and gender confirmation surgeries.
- Ensure that trans*, non-binary, and Two Spirit people, without undertaking surgeries, are able to alter their sex designation on all federally-issued official documents, consistent with their gender identity.
- Work with social services, community supports, emergency shelters and other frontline organizations to ensure that all LGBTQI2+ young people are cared for and protected.
- Ensure that the national census is designed to reflect the diversity of sex and gender and ask appropriate questions to ensure adequate, safe and effective data collection.
- Require accessible facilities in all federal buildings, including gender-neutral washrooms, changing facilities, etc. while also re-affirming trans, non-binary and Two Spirit people’s right to use whichever facilities with which they identify.
Protecting Minority Language Rights
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act. The principles laid out in this landmark legislation were the basis for Section 16 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognizes the equality of status, rights and privileges for Canada’s French and English linguistic communities. Respect for and protection of the Charter and all its values are non-negotiable. A Green Party government will commit to defending Canada's two official languages in our communities and across our country.
- In the first year of the next parliament, promote and implement a modernized Official Languages Act to protect both national languages.
- Ensure funding for the protection of Indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, across Canada.
- 35. Reynolds, Andrew. “The invisibility of transgender people in electoral politics around the world.” NewStatesmanAmerica. November 2, 2015. Available: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2015/11/invisibility-transgender-people-electoral-politics-around-world. [Accessed August 16, 2019].