COVID-19 and LGBTQI2S persons: New survey released by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust

Toronto – April 16, 2020 – Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, a UFCW Canada national partner, has released a survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on Canada’s LGBTQI2S communities.

The findings of the survey support the recent Egale-led submission to the federal government for specific funding to ensure that communities with vulnerable sexual orientations, gender identities and/or expressions, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) are included in actions undertaken by the federal government to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is affecting all Canadians at unprecedented rates, including LGBTQI2S persons who often also grapple with additional barriers to receiving health care, obtaining stable employment, and accessing social services. Among numerous critical needs, the Egale survey shows that more than half of LGBTQI2S households in the country have faced layoffs due to COVID-19; substantially higher than the national average. Additionally, LGBTQI2S people are significantly more likely to have a chronic illness or physical disability – and as a result, are more likely to be in self-isolation than other Canadians.

The survey results were compiled from an online poll conducted from March 24-29, 2020, and covered the impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable LGBTQI2S communities across several priority areas, including household finances, job loss, mental and physical health, overall quality of life, and more.

“Ensuring adequate protections for frontline workers as well as other at-risk community members cannot happen without advocacy, lobbying, and solidarity,” says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. “COVID-19 does not discriminate, so we must join together to ensure that the wellbeing of all community members, including vulnerable communities, is paramount,” the UFCW leader adds.