Conservative Tracy Gray - Kelowna-Lake Country answers questions of interest to the LGBT2Q+ community. These answers are printed exactly as answered.
What are your pronouns?
Do you support ending the blood ban?
Myself and the Conservatives 100 per cent believe that Canada must end the homophobic and transphobic blood ban.
This is something we’ve been advocating for strongly in the House of Commons over the last two years and have heard silence from the Liberals. The Liberals promised to end the blood ban in both 2015 and 2019, yet this election they have dropped that promise from their platform, ending their commitment to this injustice.
I’m proud that Conservatives have put ending the homophobic and transphobic blood ban in our platform, and I’ll be an advocate for action on this important issue in Ottawa.
Are you in support of a bill to ban conversion therapy? If so, are you in support of retooling Bill C-6 to make it more comprehensive and allow for it to be a ban on conversion therapy regardless of age?
Conversion therapy is immoral and wrong and must be banned. I’ve been clear about that since day one, and that’s why I supported Bill C-6 through second reading in the House of Commons.
Conservatives have also promised to ban conversion therapy in our platform, and I’ll be proud to support a new, less ambiguous Bill, on ending conversion therapy.
Liberals unfortunately failed to ban conversion therapy. They had six years to do so, and only began to take action on this issue when they were planning to call an election. Then they called an early snap election, which killed Bill C-6.
Of course I have to address the fact I didn’t support Bill C-6 at third reading in the House of Commons. While I believe that conversion therapy is immoral and wrong, the Bill was not properly amended when it went to the Justice Committee. At that Committee I expected the Liberals to amend the definition of conversion therapy to ensure it didn’t capture conversations such as between a child and their parent or other advisors, which would be separate from the act of conversion therapy. When we’re dealing with changes to the Criminal Code, it’s important that legislation is crystal clear. Unfortunately this Bill was not. I know that a Conservative bill banning conversion therapy will bring that clarity, and I’ll be proud to support it.
Do you agree that gender affirming surgery should become part of standardized care across Canada? What are your views on the Yukon having an effective model to build from?
I’ve heard from transgender people in Kelowna-Lake Country how difficult it can be to find trans-friendly doctors or access the services they require.
Access to care has only gotten worse throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and that has to change.
While health care is provincial jurisdiction, there is always a role for the federal government to lend a helping hand.
That’s why Canada’s Conservatives have promised to increase federal health care transfers to the provinces to 6 per cent. This will inject $60 billion into our health care sector over 10 years. We will provide the provinces with the funding they need, to provide the care that Canadians deserve.
Do you agree that more needs to be done to increase Canada's support of LGBT2Q+ refugees from around the world?
Canada’s Conservatives have an incredible track record when it comes to protecting LGBT2Q+ people across the world. We’ve successfully fast tracked Iranian LGBT2Q+ refugees, spoke out against the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda, and called-out colonial-era homophobic laws in the Caribbean.
We’re proud to continue that advocacy today, and absolutely believe that we must increase Canada’s support for LGBT2Q+ refugees across the world.
We’ve called on the Liberals to increase the number of LGBT2Q+ refugees admitted to Canada each year, and make the pilot program that helps fund LGBT2Q+ refugees coming to Canada permanent.
Canada can and should be a world leader when it comes to protecting LGBT2Q+ and other minority rights across the world.
What are your views on LGBT2Q+ seniors and their need for dedicated support?
Our seniors helped build our country and our community to make it what they are today. They deserve live in dignity and with financial security. LGBT2Q+ seniors face different challenges when it comes to ageing and finding places to live free from discrimination.
One way Conservatives will help ensure that all seniors, including LGBT2Q+ seniors can live with dignity is ensuring that they can stay in their own home as long as they want.
We’ll do this by increasing the Home Accessibility Tax Credit from $10,000 per dwelling, to $10,000 per person. This will double the tax benefits available to those who want to age in place, rather than move to an assisted living facility.
What are your views on LGBT2Q+ youth and their need for dedicated support?
While Canada has made great strides towards protecting and providing support to LGBT2Q+ youth, there is still more to be done. I’ve heard from constituents who still struggle with finding the health care and mental health supports they need in their communities.
That’s why I’m proud of the Conservative plan to inject $60 billion into our public health care system over the next ten years, to improve health care and mental health supports across our communities.
One of the five pillars in our Economic Recovery Plan includes mental health. The pandemic has deepened Canada’s mental health crisis, especially for our youth. Canada’s Conservatives will address the mental health crisis by recognizing that mental health is health by developing a Canada Mental Health Action Plan. Some parts of this plan include encouraging employers to add mental health coverage to their employee benefit plans, providing grants to nonprofits and charities delivering mental health and wellness programs, and creating a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline.
I also believe that ending the transphobic and homophobic blood ban is an example of the kind of systemic discrimination we can dismantle to show LGBT2Q+ youth that they aren’t different, and they are accepted. Unfortunately right now, LGBT2Q+ youth are taught that their blood isn’t good enough, and we should be tackling this.
What are your views on a National LGBT2Q+ Action Plan in Canada to focus strategy with deliverables, accountability, and funding to ensure LGBT2Q+ are supported in all areas of Canadian society?
Canada’s Conservatives have been calling on the Liberals to take specific actions to support LGBT2Q+ Canadians and people around the world. From increasing the number of LGBT2Q+ refugees, ending the homophobic and transphobic blood ban, increasing mental health funding, to exploring the legalization and safer regulation of alkyl nitrates (‘poppers’) and banning conversion therapy.
These are concrete actions Canada’s Conservatives will be taking to support LGBT2Q+ people in our country and around the globe to show them that they are accepted, they are welcome, and they are safe.
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