“I’m going to continue to be present, to be outspoken and to bring it up anytime we’re talking about development aid or economic growth or opportunities,” he says. “The cost for countries of wanting to engage with Canada is going to be receive pressure that they do have changes to make.”
In a one-on-one interview with Daily Xtra, Trudeau says that LGBT rights will be on the table at both high-level diplomacy as well as in the day-to-day work of ambassadors and envoys.
“I recently just had a sit-down with our heads of mission, our ambassadors from around the world, and emphasized that part of their job was going to be, to be outspoken on Canadian values and the fundamental human rights that we stand for,” he says.
“It’s not just the head of government, it’s all of our representatives, challenging our representatives to look for ways not just to put pressure on the individual governments, but to be active on social media, to talk to civil society, to get out and engage with the communities in a way that is diplomatically respectful,” Trudeau says.
Despite progress in many countries, over 70 countries around the world still criminalize homosexuality. Increasingly homophobic laws are being pushed in countries such as Russia, Uganda and Nigeria, and the average life expectancy of trans people in the Americas is between 30 and 35.