Critical issues for the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Updated: Oct 20

Questions from SPECTRUM. Visit their website to see how other candidates responded (Their website still needs to be updated with my response). https://www.ourspectrum.com/2022/09/26/results-of-2slgbtqia-questionnaire-for-waterloo-region-municipal-candidates/


What do you believe are the most critical issues for the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community? If elected, how would you work with the local community to address these issues?


I feel that mental health and safety are two of the top issues for the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

If elected I would ensure we continue to raise the pride flag in our Township,

I would also actively look for grants and funding that our municipality could use to partner with an organization such as SPECTRUM to bring additional educational programming and events to Wilmot Township. Hopefully, through this additional community outreach, we can encourage a group/business to permanently set up a welcoming space specifically for the @SLGBTQIA+ community.


Our municipality should also discuss creating a community-led advisory board or committee to take a harder look at discriminatory practices within our municipality with a focus on intersectionality. We need to be reviewing our actions or lack of actions and its impact.

We need to be looking at who is not included in the discussion regarding a policy or community development. What could be contributing to this exclusion and what can we be doing differently? All members of our community should have equal access to the resources of their community and the opportunity to participate in it.




Systemic homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are still prevalent in our community, resulting in significant socioeconomic disparities within 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. If elected, how will you combat homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia?


As a municipality we should be allies. We should fully commit to our actions in this way and actively advocate for change. We should also ensure that we are committed to our actions as a whole municipality. Over the past few years individual councilors have been targeted by the community for decisions made by the municipality in relation to anti racism efforts and they have had to stand alone. I strongly believe that our municipality should increase their communication outreach to acknowledge what is occurring and to state that our municipality, staff and council, stand together. By not doing this it increases the perception by some in the community that their actions are okay and it increases discrimination in our community.


As I continue to speak out regarding discrimination in our community certain people in our community have reacted with hostility but at this same time I have been receiving private messages from people who support efforts to address discrimination and are offering their time to help to continue addressing these issues.


In Wilmot Township there is a growing polarization regarding the Prime Minister's Path. During discussions of this I have highlighted the need for our municipality to work with local conflict resolution experts. I believe perhaps our municipality could offer community conflict resolution training as well as create community champions for diversity who can involve themselves in community groups, service clubs, and neighbourhood blocks to help combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.



If elected, how would you address the ongoing issues of homelessness and mental health, especially as they disproportionately affect members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community?


In Wilmot Township there are no homeless shelters. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any people who aren’t unsheltered. There are a number of people and groups in Wilmot who are interested in addressing the housing crisis and trying to find ways to increase affordable housing. If we could increase affordable housing within our Township in partnership with some of these local groups (one currently trying to become a not for profit organization) perhaps this group could offer affordable housing options specific to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


Research shows that “Canadian LGBTQ+ youth are overrepresented in poverty statistics, with Between 25 and 40 per cent of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ+.

Studies suggest that this is due to rejection from family members during the coming out process.”. Understanding this, our municipality could help apply for additional grants/funds to help support our local Wilmot Family Resource Center to run programming that offers conflict resolution and support for youth during their coming out process.

I also believe that if our township works on other community education and awareness campaigns that it will help address mental health for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


https://www.homelesshub.ca/povertyhub/diversity/LGBTQ



What is one motion would you bring to council that you think will improve the lives of specifically queer people, racialized individuals and/or marginalized residents and why?


I would motion that our municipality join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities,

https://en.ccunesco.ca/networks/coalition-of-inclusive-municipalities/join-the-coalition


When municipalities become members of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, they commit to investing time and resources to create more welcoming and inclusive communities as part of a network of cities seeking to improve policies against racism, discrimination, exclusion and intolerance.”

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