Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of the most important roles that a government plays is to take care of our seniors, making sure that our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have the support and respect they deserve. An often overlooked element of this area is making sure that LGBTQ seniors are able to live their lives openly, honestly, and without fear of discrimination. A sad trend that we’re seeing is LGBTQ seniors feeling ostracized and struggling to find supports simply because of who they are and whom they love. Ensuring that support programs for our seniors are inclusive, supportive, and affirming is a must.
As a society we’ve made tremendous strides towards equality and acceptance, but I am saddened, Mr. Speaker, that there still exists elements of homophobia and transphobia in an area that is necessary for the safety and security of our seniors. No one should have to lie about who they are just to get the support and respect they need. No one should be made to feel shame about who they are. It is 2016 and any type of discrimination should not be tolerated in any form.
Mr. Speaker, getting this issue right is key. Yesterday we began a public conversation with Albertans when we launched Engage. We want and need the feedback of Albertans on this issue. What can we as legislators do better? How can we make sure all Albertans are treated with equality and respect from childhood to old age? Our caucus doesn’t have all the answers. The Progressive Conservatives will walk the walk and make sure each voice that reaches us is listened to and what they say is treated with the respect they deserve.
The topic of this member’s statement came from a concerned Albertan. We are glad she engaged us, and we look forward to more conversations like this one in the future.
On April 5, 2016, Sandra Jansen demanded respect and equality for LGBTQ seniors in Alberta.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
PC Caucus members have proposed and passed bills, amendments and motions. Read about them here.