PEI

P.E.I.'s LGBT community meets with Trudeau's special advisor

Members of the LGBT community had a chance to air their thoughts to a right hand man for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday in Charlottetown.

MP Randy Boissonnault has been travelling the country

Members of P.E.I.'s LGBTQ community took advantage of an opportunity for a direct line to the prime minister Monday. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Members of the LGBT community had a chance to air their thoughts to a right hand man for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday in Charlottetown.

MP Randy Boissonnault met with stakeholders as part of his cross-country trip and appointment as special advisor to the PM. 

"It's also a expression of our government's commitment to diversity and to making sure that everyone, from young people to less than young people, not just feel but are welcomed in our society," said Boissonnault 

The MP for Edmonton Centre said the issues he heard in P.E.I. were similar to those from across the country, which he said shows their importance.

Special advisor to the prime minister, MP Randy Boissonnault, says issues he heard on P.E.I. are similar to ones he's heard across the country. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

"We heard a lot of information and request for support in terms of people who are gender fluid, gender-non-conforming, transitioning from one gender to another. Very important that people have access to health coverage in that matter." he said 

"[It's] also important for people to have positive role models, youth people to have a place they can come to and the importance for organizations, who are admittedly under funded, to be able to not work in silos, but also be able to come together and work together so that people can feel and be supported. "

Reaching the highest levels

Charlottetown MP Sean Casey was also in attendance, and said he was is pleased P.E.I.'s needs will be reaching upper levels of government. 

"Some of the challenges around funding and testing for HIV and the availability of health care for people living with HIV, those themes kept reoccurring," said Casey.

"They weren't unanticipated but it's very important for the person who has the direct link to the prime minister to hear that. "

Working together

For those who were there to present their thoughts, that sentiment echoed true as well. 

"It was just really nice that it existed," said Rosemarie Dale, co-chair of the UPEI Rainbow Alliance. 

"It was just really nice to hear different perspectives, issues that I didn't know that existed, like the HIV discrimination problems, and other ones that I did, but the fact that now we can hopefully work together as opposed to not as much individually. "

Rosemarie Dale with UPEI's Rainbow Alliance says it's good allies and activists met Monday and can now work together better. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

Her main focus was to present concerns on the lack of support for transitioning individuals, especially regarding health coverage.

"There's nothing like a list of here are the steps if you are transitioning what you can do, and that's unacceptable."

Dale said there needs to be better access to specialized services, and funding if a patient has to go off-Island to get the treatment they need and want.  In general, Dale feels P.E.I.'s understanding of issues in the LGBT community is still low, and that more education is needed to deal with that. 

"For P.E.I. I think it was about accessibility, it was about education, it was about kind of working together to get rid of certain stigmas."