QUEEN’S PARK – Kristyn Wong-Tam, NDP MPP for Toronto Centre and Official Opposition Critic for 2SLGBTQ+ Issues called out the Ford Conservatives’ decision to eliminate the program that provided healthcare to uninsured Ontarians.
In the wake of dangerous and violent “anti-homosexuality” legislation passed by the Ugandan parliament, Wong-Tam highlighted the impact of cutting access to healthcare for undocumented individuals, including 2SLGBTQ+ people seeking asylum in Ontario, and those who are already rely on the program.
“Ford’s egregious decision will have a negative effect on more than 500,000 people in the province without health insurance. Many of these Ontario residents are undocumented, migrant workers, on work or study permits, precariously housed or homeless individuals living with multiple vulnerabilities. Some of these Ontario residents are Ugandan refugees or fleeing the deadly and hateful law persecuting 2SLGBTQ+ people,” said Wong-Tam.
Wong-Tam was joined by Dennis Wamala, Vice-Chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda and Vice President of the New African Canadian; Doreen Kajumba, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice Initiatives; and Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, Founder & Executive Director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom.
A large solidarity rally in support of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities in Uganda is taking place on Sunday April 2, 2023, at 3 p.m. at Yonge-Dundas Square. Speakers include MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam, MP Rob Oliphant, Rev. Michael Coren and many notable human rights advocates from Uganda.
Dennis Wamala, Vice-Chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda and Vice President of the New African Canadian
“This Bill in Uganda imposes obligations on doctors, counselors, lawyers, and religious leaders to report any known or suspected homosexuals or they are at the risk of facing jail-time themselves. It also includes a death penalty for what they describe as “aggravated homosexuality”. This Bill passed in the 21st century. This is real life, what is happening to Ugandans today. Considering the legislative assault on LGBTQI+ communities in Uganda, we ask the Canadian government support humanitarian programs for Ugandans and human rights defenders who are at risk because of this law.”
Doreen Kajumba, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice Initiatives
“A lot of refugees look at Canada as one of the safe spaces they can run to for protection. We call on the government of Ontario, which hosts majority of the LGBTQI+ refugees, to not close their doors to the refugees and continue offering the services to newcomers from Uganda as they arrive for their safety and well-being. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”
Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, Founder & Executive Director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom
“Compassion is a central value of all religions, and this Ugandan legislation violates this central value. Listen to the cries of people from around the world, particularly from Uganda. To the Canadian government, we urge you to work against hatred wherever you find it internationally and open our doors for people who are at risk. To the government of Ontario, once we get people here, please make sure they have healthcare and the support they need to be able to live their lives. Listen to the people who are being forced to choose between their spirituality and sexuality or their gender identity. Stand up against this legislation, and to all faith leaders, say that these hateful laws do not represent you.”