On March 28th, the federal government released the 2023 budget. Our question is: What’s in it for 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations?
The answer: not much. Despite advocacy and submissions from various 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, the budget did not meet the expectations of the community.
However, there are a few key points that 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations should be aware of:
Old Money: The budget highlighted the $100 million investment from the Federal 2SLGBTQI+ Action Plan allocated in Budget 2022, which will be invested over 5 years. This includes $75 million for capacity building and project funding for 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations. Applications are now open for this year’s Community Capacity Fund, closing on May 9, 2023 at 12PM PT
New Money: 2SLGBTQI+ organizations may be eligible to apply for the “Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program,” which has a $49.5 million investment over 5 years. The program can support security measures for physical infrastructure and staff planning, including closed-circuit cameras, safety training, and minor renovations. However, the government needs to do more to ensure the safety and security of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and advocacy will continue for full 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion in the upcoming National Action Plan on Combating Hate.
Gender Equality: The Women’s Program has been allocated $160 million over three years, starting this year, and 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations may be eligible for the funding. However, being lumped in with broader funding calls can create barriers to funding and heighten competition with allied organizations. Therefore, continued advocacy for funding earmarked specifically for 2SLGBTQI+ communities and other equity-deserving communities is necessary.
Festivals and Events: The budget proposes $14 million over two years, starting next year, for community festivals, events, and projects, including the celebration of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ and Two Spirit People: Budget 2023 would expand existing programming and financial support for the victims and families of missing and murdered Indigenous 2SLGBTQI+ and Two Spirit People to include support for the families of 2SLGBTQI+ victims who are male.
Although this budget falls short of 2SLGBTQI+ community organizations’ expectations, there are still some opportunities for funding and support. For those interested in broader Budget 2023 analysis, links to relevant resources are provided at the bottom of this article.
Going forward, we are even more motivated to advocate for our and with our members in Budget 2024. Our communities need, and deserve, a 2SLGBTQI+-led endowment so that we can secure our sustainability beyond the boom and bust of budget cycles. Stay tuned.
CCGSD Reacts to 2023 Federal Budget
Future of Good overview
National Right to Housing Network
Imagine Canada Response
Assembly of First Nations
Inuit Tapirit Kanatami
Metis Nation of Ontario
Women’s Shelters Canada
Federal Budget 2023