Federal Election 2021

On September 20, 2021, Canadians went to the polls for a federal election. This was our chance to decide what kind of government we want — and at the HIV Legal Network we hoped for one that upholds and actively promotes health and human rights.

On this page you’ll find resources related to the election including answers from political parties to our questions on health and human rights issues.

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

We circulated a questionnaire to each of the major federal parties — the Bloc Québécois, Conservative Party of Canada, Green Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada, and New Democratic Party of Canada.

We wanted to better understand their positions on five critical issues related to HIV and human rights, and to equip you with need-to-know information before you head to the polls.

Here’s what we asked about:

  • Restoring funds to the federal HIV strategy
  • Harm reduction services and evidence-based drug policy
  • Prison-based needle and syringe programs
  • Limiting the overcriminalization of HIV
  • Protecting the health and human rights of sex workers

You can see the full text of our questionnaire here.

NDP response

Bloc Québécois response (in French only)

Liberal Party response

 

 


ELECTION FOCUS: DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION

We’re facing a crisis. And our response will determine life or death for some of our friends, family, colleagues, and community members.

The overdose crisis, fueled by a contaminated drug supply, is killing at an alarming rate. Since January 2016, more than 21,000 people have died. And there’s no end in sight.

But with the election of a new federal government, we have a chance to make a difference. If our political leaders are serious about saving lives and curbing the overdose crisis, they should immediately commit to decriminalizing drugs for personal use across Canada. By eliminating criminal sanctions and penalties related to drug use, the next government can save lives.

Decriminalization would mean that people who use drugs can access lifesaving harm reduction services without stigma or barriers. Safe supply — another critical step in preventing more harms from a poisoned drug supply — could roll out nation-wide, accessible to everyone who wants it.

Decriminalization is strong evidence-based drug policy that has already been endorsed by numerous cities and communities around the country, but a piecemeal approach isn’t enough. We need full decrim done right — led by people with lived experience — and we need it now.

GET INVOLVED

Your voice matters! Your local representative needs to know what matters most to you. Use our social media shareables to ask them what their party is doing to address the issues our work touches — and to protect human rights for all. You can even ask party leaders directly at:

Justin Trudeau

Erin O’Toole

Jagmeet Singh

Yves Blanchet

Annamie Paul


 


Organizations can sign our open letter calling on the Government of Canada — whoever that might be after September 20 — to immediately decriminalize possession of drugs for personal use across the country. Know an organization that hasn’t yet added their name? Share this link with them and encourage them to sign on!

Donate now to help us with our efforts to ensure that critical human rights issues are front and centre with the incoming government. We must continue to stand for the fundamental rights of all people, including the most marginalized. We must continue to demand that funds be allocated to the HIV response so that we can end HIV as a public health threat. We must continue to challenge unfair and discriminatory laws and policies. You can help us to stand vigilant against laws and policies that are not grounded in sound evidence, public health principles, and human rights. Join us!

 

 


MEDIA

Treat drug addiction as health, not criminal issue, O’Toole says in plan to tackle opioid crisis

The opioid crisis is getting worse. But have the parties noticed?

Canada’s drug crisis has killed at least 23,000. What has Justin Trudeau done about it?

Ontario AIDS Network: 2021 OAN Federal Election Package

‘It’s Social Murder.’ How the Major Parties will Combat Canada’s Overdose Crisis

An estimated 17 Canadians die every day from an opioid overdose. Here’s how the federal political parties plan to tackle the crisis.

Joint Press Release – HIV, Hepatitis C and Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections in Canada: Top Election 2021 Issues