1. Personally, I recognize and fully support each and every individual's right to be who they are or how they identify within the 2SLGBTQ+ community. All our citizens should feel accepted and safe within Petawawa. I feel unsettled with our current position around the flying of the pride flag during June. In my opinion, the spirit of resolution 11 established in 1998 was to set a policy in place to address temporary or special requests within our community and the council of the day wished to remain neutral on Public Proclamations. It is not a resolution aimed specifically to restrict individual expression of self or at the Pride movement, but an enactment that at the time addressed how to handle frequent and numerous requests to 'support' causes, events and activities. The resolution also resulted in the denial of raising a Military Family Appreciation flag or Support for Medical causes.
Do I believe the resolution is outdated? I most certainly do. A resolution conceived a 1/4 of a century ago definitely needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect the current culture of our population. There is a process to address this required change, and the Town of Petawawa residents that feel strongly about the issue, either supporting or against, the change will express their opinions at the ballot box. The nature of the resolution requires a 12 month waiting period before it can be reevaluated and reviewed, which will bring us to June 2023. I have the utmost respect for our community and they will demand that the right thing be done.
2. Thank you for sharing the information wrt the trend of individuals not feeling safe in Renfrew County communities. That is unacceptable. One of the benefits of the Petawawa community as a whole is that a fair number of our residents are transitional, typically arriving in Petawawa from other communities. They will, perhaps, bring with them a more progressive view. Tapping into local events as well as county-wide events is an excellent venue for the Pflag Renfrew County to welcome and inform members of our community about the concerns and to raise awareness of your group's commitment to ensuring our community is safe and welcoming to all citizens.
The Petawawa Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is an excellent venue to open up the lines of communication and awareness within Petawawa and was formally recognized at the 15 Aug Town Council Meeting. Originally proposed by Ellen Wong-Gallant and Rebecca Conroy, it will ensure citizen engagement and advocacy with regards to inclusion. This committee will be an excellent resource for town leadership to ensure decisions are in line with community interests. There is always benefit when we take the time to gather information from our entire population.
If elected I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with your group with the goal of increasing awareness and acceptance of all of our citizens.
3. The opportunity to grow and develop the inclusion of all our residents by increasing my awareness and understanding is a commitment I am happy to make.
Please let me know if you have any more questions or comments.