Québec election: Jozyam Ilsa Fontaine for the Parti vert
(Our sixth of 6 party overviews on LGBT issues). Although not heavily present in the media, the Parti vert du Québec (Green Party) hopes to voice concerns that other parties have neglected either willingly or not. As for the environment, so it goes for LGBT issues: the party stands out for openly opposing Québec’s current ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men.
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For Jozyam Ilsa Fontaine, Parti vert candidate for the Hull riding near Gatineau, the blood donation ban is the first thing on her party’s agenda for LGBT rights. “It’s truly discriminatory,” she says emphatically, reinforced by the fact that Héma-Québec’s reason for maintaining the ban continues to be that gay men are too high-risk. “It stigmatizes them, and on top of that, it’s not even true,” Fontaine maintains.
Québec’s Green Party, which has existed for almost thirty years without electing any representatives to the National Assembly, wants to extend the right to donate blood in order to improve “a health system that really isn’t doing well [at all],” Fontaine insists. “We’re depriving ourselves of healthy blood, universally useful blood, from people who wish to help their fellow Québecers and cannot.”
Bullying in schools is another issue that Jozyam Ilsa Fontaine is committed to working on. For the Green candidate, the government’s announcements on the issue have done little to improve the situation. “The [government's] measures are flakey, [there's] nothing concrete. I can relate to those youth who, unfortunately, develop an anti-social or timid reactions as a result of bullying, and become marginalized,” she told Être.
The measures proposed by the Parti vert du Québec include more specialized personnel, such as psychologists, and a zero tolerance policy for aggressors. “They should be expelled if we see that they’ve committed uncivil acts,” Fontaine says. “We need education on citizenship, perhaps even in the form of a course,” in the school curriculum, she adds.
Editor’s Note: This article includes quotes that have been translated from an original interview in French. In tandem with Êtremag, we will be publishing a series of brief articles on each of the political parties’ LGBT platforms and/or their candidate in the Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques riding.