The Enchanté Network is calling for increased federal investment in 2SLGBTQI+ organizations
We are Canada’s largest network of 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, spanning nearly 200 members in every province and territory.
Currently, the federal government is developing the first-ever LGBTQ2 National Action Plan. On this page, we will outline three calls to action for the government to address in the LGBTQ2 National Action Plan. These calls to action are essential to advancing the health, safety and rights of 2SLGBTQI+ communities.
Here are our three calls to action:
1. $25M in annual federal funding dedicated to 2SLGBTQ+ organizations.
From the food security programs at the 519, to affordable housing referrals run by OUTSaskatoon to the cultural supports offered by the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society — our members are doing lifesaving frontline community work every day. Pride centres are hubs in their communities. These organizations are where a queer youth will turn when they are bullied. They are where a trans person can visit for support with finding employment, or affordable housing. When these organizations are underfunded, their ability to deliver these services is deeply weakened.
After decades of chronic underfunding, 2SLGBTQ+ organizations were optimistic about the $20M invested by the government in the 2019 budget. The creation of the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund was labelled by many activists and leaders as an historic step forward. However, the 2021 federal budget included only $15M stretched over three years, for the entire country. This is an insufficient amount of funding for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations.
The Enchanté Network is calling for the federal government to invest $25M annually in the LGBTQ2 Capacity Fund.
In particular, we are calling for the following items to be funded by the Government of Canada:
- Core, multi-year funding for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations that deliver frontline services on the grounds of gender and sexual diversity;
- Dedicated, multi-year funding specific to 2SLGBTQ+ organizations.
- Capacity building funding for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations (including for rural and remote communities without access to services, and organizations that were not able to access the previous round of funding);
- Allocate funding for national networks to support,sustain and grow sector-widecapacity and collaboration across 2SLGBTQ+ community, health and social services.
There is a federal responsibility to ensure that human rights to access lifesaving services related to gender and sexuality are upheld. Through core operational funding, ongoing program and project funding, enhanced funding for capacity building, and resources to national networks to support implementation and coordination, 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations will be better equipped to meet the needs of their communities, and address the root causes of systemic inequities.
2. The LGBTQ2 Secretariat requires permanent federal funding.
Prior to the creation of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat, only a handful of our members had any relationships with the federal government. Now, many more 2SLGBTQ+ organizations feel they have been engaged within government processes. This has been a huge success of the federal government in terms of demonstrating to the country that LGBTQ2 communities mattered.
The Secretariat plays a key role in making up for decades of queer organizations being left out of federal policy and decision-making spaces. Because there is no federal department that focuses on LGBTQ2 communities, the Secretariat is even more essential — without their work, there would be no internal champion. Further, the Government of Canada still has a considerable amount of work to do to make internal processes and funding programs accessible to our 2SLGBTQ+ communities and organizations. Having a body that is there to support organizations like ours is key to continuing this forward momentum.
Our network would like to applaud the government for the creation of the Secretariat. The Secretariat has been instrumental in supporting our efforts in helping the Government of Canada to better support 2SLGBTQ+ communities. The Secretariat has helped us navigate various processes and bodies in the federal government in order to enact positive changes that will allow our members to build organizational capacity.
The Enchanté Network is calling for the work of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat to be preserved by receiving permanent federal funding.
3. The federal government cannot press pause on funding 2SLGBTQI+ organizations.
On March 31st 2022, all 76 organizations in the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund will have their grants end at the same time. Although March 31st is very soon, there are currently no open applications for federal funding for 2SLGBTQI+ organizations continuing after March.
We applaud the commitment to sustain 2SLGBTQI+ capacity building funds in the Honourable Minister Ien’s mandate letter. Our following 2 calls to action outline how to make that commitment a reality.
We are calling on Minister Ien to:
1. Minimize interruption to 2SLGBTQI+ frontline service delivery by extending the initial 76 projects and;
2. Provide a timeline outlining when additional organizations not selected in the previous round of the fund will be able to apply for an upcoming call for proposals
Thank you to all the Enchanté Network members who have spoken with us over the past year about their struggles in securing stable funding. All of the work we do is in support of our nearly 200 members across Canada.