Diversity and inclusion are the building blocks of Canadian identity, and a source of social and economic strength. That is why this week, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, spent five days in Edmonton, Calgary and the Greater Vancouver area. Minister Chagger met with stakeholders from LGBTQ2 communities, racialized communities and various youth stakeholders.
During her time in the West, Minister Chagger had meaningful conversations about how the Government of Canada can continue to empower communities, build awareness, and break down the barriers that prevent racialized and minority Canadians from fully participating in society.
She began by visiting the Pride Centre of Edmonton, a non-profit organization that supports over 1000 people each month through community-aimed programs and resources. During moderated discussions, members of Edmonton’s diverse LGBTQ2 communities were able to raise concerns regarding affordable and supporting housing. Minister Chagger also consulted with key members of LGBTQ2 communities in Calgary and Vancouver. Participants of all these engagement sessions also raised the issue of funding, conversion therapy and building on the work of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat.
In addition to these roundtables, Minister Chagger met with several important community organizations, including YOUCAN Youth Services, Action Dignity, the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council.
Minister Chagger shared the government’s many initiatives that support racialized and LGBTQ2 communities, religious minorities, and youth, such as:
Plans to strengthen and advance Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, which aims to combat racial discrimination and hate by empowering communities, building awareness and demonstrating federal leadership;
Continuing the work of the LGBTQ2 Secretariat in promoting LGBTQ2 equality, protecting LGBTQ2 rights and addressing discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities through various policy and legal changes; and
Continuing the work of the Youth Secretariat to implement Canada’s first-ever Youth Policy and ensure that the upcoming State of Youth report adopts an intersectional approach that includes race.
These engagement sessions in Alberta and British Columbia offered Minister Chagger an opportunity to spark enriching discussions on advancing diversity and inclusion in Western Canada.
Minister Chagger is now off to Winnipeg, where she will continue her conversations with community groups and visit the Canadian Museum of Human Rights before meeting with her Cabinet colleagues ahead of the parliamentary session.
“I’m honoured to have these important conversations with Canadians about ensuring equitable opportunities for all members of our society. As the new Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, it is important for me to meet face to face with members of LGBTQ2 communities, members of racialized and ethnic groups, as well as youth representatives-so I can hear first-hand the immediate concerns of Canadians. Together, we can build a more diverse and inclusive Canada.”
-The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth