Over two months ago, we brought change to BC with our Open the Doors campaign. Now, we officially have a new government with Premier John Horgan and a new cabinet including Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark. We’re looking forward to the months ahead, and are excited about this opportunity to make post-secondary education affordable and accessible in BC.
But there is more to celebrate than this historic change in government. As students, educators, staff, and supporters of post-secondary education, we know that a safe space where every person’s human and civil rights are respected is crucial to a productive learning environment. We also know that the need to feel safe and secure extends beyond the classroom doors. As President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, I am so proud to stand with our member faculty and staff in solidarity with the LGBTQ2*+ community.
Across BC, Pride parades and events mark a meaningful time to celebrate progress being made within our communities, especially the significant advances that have been made in the past year:
- July 25, 2016: In BC, Bill 27 was passed in to law, adding gender identity and expression protection to the Human Rights Code.
- June 19, 2017: Bill C-16 received Royal Assent and became federal law, adding protection of gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code.
This is also a time to reflect on the work that is still to be done to achieve an entirely free, just, safe, and inclusive society. At home and abroad, many people are under threat of persecution and worse due to their gender identity, expression, or sexual orientation.
I encourage you to show support for LGBTQ2*+ equity by taking part in Pride celebrations in your community. Pride festivals are an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments, and to keep working for a society where everybody is free to express who they are and free to love who they want.
I wish you a safe and happy Pride and summer!