FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Enchanté Network Secures Big Win for Inclusivity in Canada’s Employment Equity Act on Human Rights Day
Ottawa, ON – December 12, 2023 – The Enchanté Network, Canada’s largest network of 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, proudly announces a groundbreaking achievement in our relentless pursuit of equality: the inclusion of a 2SLGBTQI+ standalone category in the federal Employment Equity Act. We have been unwavering advocates for the inclusion of 2SLGBTQI+ as a standalone category, and our impact has been significant.
In August 2022, the Enchanté Network took a bold step by submitting a comprehensive national needs assessment to the Employment Equity Review Taskforce. This assessment aimed to shed light on the unique employment barriers faced by queer, transgender and gender-expansive communities within Canada. Shocking statistics reveal that transgender individuals in Canada still experience an alarming unemployment rate, with 30 percent of transgender women and 22 percent of transgender men having reported being denied employment due to their gender identity, compared to 7 percent of cisgender women and 4 percent of cisgender men.
Tyler Boyce, Executive Director of the Enchanté Network, shares, “This moment is historic and long overdue. History will once again record the power of possibility when voices for human rights unite – millions of Canadians will benefit. This policy makes Canada stronger, ensuring that all Canadians can realise their full potential.”
We are immensely grateful for the tireless efforts of our dedicated members and partner organizations such as Pride at Work Canada and Egale Canada. Together, we’ve championed the cause for 2SLGBTQI+ recognition in the Employment Equity Act. Their unwavering commitment to this crucial mission has been instrumental in this journey towards equity.
The Enchanté Network also takes this opportunity to applaud the designation of Black people as a standalone category within the Act. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Black Class Action Secretariat for their relentless advocacy. We firmly believe that employment barriers are intersectional, and recognizing this is a significant stride towards a fairer Canada.
In acknowledgment of this historic development, we reached out to the Executive Director of the Black Class Action Secretariat, Nicholas Marcus Thompson, who shared their thoughts on this momentous occasion: ” This is a historic victory for workers, largely attributed to the legal action taken by Black public service employees challenging the Employment Equity Act. Much like the civil rights movement, the struggle for rights for Black people has consistently paved the way for rights for everyone else. We take immense pride in this enduring legacy, as it sets the path for marginalized communities.”
The Enchanté Network commends the diligent work of the Employment Equity Review Taskforce and expresses its deep appreciation for their unwavering commitment to this transformative process. Together, we are forging a brighter future for all Canadians.
This milestone serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, compassion, and dedication. It marks a beacon of hope, guiding us towards a more inclusive Canada, where everyone is free to be themselves.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Tyler Boyce (He/him)
About The Enchanté Network
The Enchanté Network is Canada’s largest network of 2SLGBTQI+ organizations and a leading organization dedicated to advancing the rights and inclusion of Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ community. Through advocacy, education, and community support, we work to create a more equitable and accepting society for all Canadians. Visit www.enchantenetwork.ca for more information.