Madawaska Valley Candidate Questionnaire
Sent via email Oct. 7, 2022
Mayors, municipal councillors and school trustees have the power to enact policies and programs that create a safe and inclusive community: A place where everyone feels welcome to live, work, and visit.
Sadly, this is often not the case for Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people:
Pflag Renfrew County (an official chapter of Pflag Canada) offers peer support and resources for 2SLGBTQ+ people, along with family members and others who wish to grow in their understanding and allyship.
We invite you to share your views on 2SLGBTQ issues by responding to the questions below. We’ll share your answers with our members and on our website at www.pflagrenfrewcounty.ca.
1. Initiatives such as Pride flag raisings, events and crosswalks are tangible ways to stand against anti-2SLGBTQ hate speech and demonstrate that this is a safe and welcoming community for all. If elected, will you support and participate in Pride-related initiatives?
2. There has been a marked increase in anti-2SLGBTQ hate speech and false information in Renfrew County that is making communities less safe for 2SLGBTQ youth and adults. If elected, how will you work to combat this dangerous trend?
3. Will you commit to learn about 2SLGBTQ issues from 2SLGBTQ people, participate in safe space training (Pflag offers this at no charge), and build relationships with your local Pflag and Pride groups?
Thank you in advance for your reply. We look forward to hearing from you!
Jill Holroyd (she/her)
Pflag Renfrew County
Jody Sernoskie (she/her)
Pflag Volunteer/Madawaska Valley
Mark Willmer: Madawaska Valley
1. Yes I support these events and would be happy to participate.
2. I think by keeping conversation and dialogue open there is less chance and opportunity for misinformation to be spread. It is when we don’t discuss these important issues openly that false information and rumours spread. If elected I am open to any discussion to combat this trend.
David Shulist: Madawaska Valley
Greetings, Jill and Jody
You have asked for my point of view on 2SLGBTQ issues.
As a Christian, I believe that all people are created equal and should never be judged by who they are and what they believe.
Love is Love and this should be the focus. I am with all God’s children.
I have no right to judge.
Treat your fellow citizens as you would treat yourself. Love thy neighbor.
There is no place for hate in our society.
Helen Benn: Madawaska Valley
1. I fully support a Madawaska Valley Township that is a welcoming and inclusive community for all. I would welcome the opportunity to participate in events and initiatives as my schedule permits. I am also on the AHAOV (Affordable Housing Association of Ottawa Valley). We will be following up with people in the Madawaska Valley Township, who wish to volunteer their time, knowledge, skills, and talents in finding solutions to our housing crisis after the municipal election. If you would like to be on our MVT AHAOV focus group, please let me know.
2. Community safety is a priority for me. I am a certified Professional Life Coach, Mediator, and Restorative Justice Practitioner. I am a member of CATAP (Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals). I have 40 years of experience within the Child Development/Education Field. I am a registered professional member of OACYC and CECE. No one should be discriminated against. (I also currently supply at MVDHS & Sherwood PS)
Education and awareness is key (from the early elementary grades), to bringing acceptance and empathy for all. Early instruction/training in empathy and understanding the perspectives of others is fundamental in developing strong and inclusive communities. As a Councillor in MVT, I will aim to bring people together and make our community centres a hub of activities and programs where everyone feels safe, respected, and included not only for our individual gifts and talents but also to embrace our differences.
3. I do have training and experience in supporting 2SLGBTQ youth and young adults, from my work with school boards and with clients in my private practice. I am always open to new learning & training opportunities though.
Thanks again for the opportunity to show my support for PFLAG Renfrew County and our 2SLGBTQ community.
Liz Woosey: Madawaska Valley
I will definitely support and participate in these events. I organized a float in the Peterborough Pride Parade with my Rotary Club. We were the FIRST Rotary Club to participate in a Pride Parade in the world and we had a blast!
I didn't know the answer to this question, so I googled it. There is much written about creating programs and funding for these programs. There aren't any solid solutions. But I believe that this is the same as drinking and driving drunk. Up to 30 years ago, people just looked the other way when a drunk got behind the wheel. Then a group of mothers got together to change the narrative. Over time, drunk driving has become shameful and not tolerated, especially by our youth. The key to any change is education and passing laws to prevent the bad behaviour of some members of society. Our SLSGBTQ youth need the same protection. Hate speech against this segment of our community is a crime and should be punished. This means educating the public, the local police and in the schools.
Yes I will.