Thank you for taking the time to ask candidates these important questions regarding Arnprior Pride initiatives within the Town of Arnprior. As someone who grew up a Gay man in Arnprior I would have loved to have these initiatives in place when I was younger and I am so thankful for all the work Arnprior Pride and PFlag have done in the town in the last few years. Yes there is more work to be done and I am committed to making Arnprior a safer place for the 2SLGBTIA+ community.
Yes I will continue to support Arnprior Prides initiatives within the Town of Arnrpior. It is also very important that we continue to celebrate Pride year round and not just in June and the summer months. I am aware that it takes alot of work to plan and organize such initiatives and I know that communication and collaboration with the town will make planning events much easier. If elected councillor I will commit to voting in favour of installing the trans flag crosswalk, and will advocate for yearly funding to help repaint both the crosswalks. I would also commit to raising the Progress Pride flag at all town facilities during the entire month of June instead of only for one week.
Communication and collaboration is needed between council and all community organizations. I agree that better partnership will be needed with Arnprior Pride and the incoming council to ensure that every voice is heard. As someone who is part of the community I will be a diverse voice at the council table. If elected I also plan to improve the Diversity and Inclusion committee and make it more a community led initiative rather than a town led sub committee. We need more community input on this topic and I would like to see a seat at this table for every organization that deals with marginalized communities in Arnprior, meaning a seat would be dedicated to Arnprior Pride on this committee. I also think that I can strengthen the relationship between Council and Arnprior Pride as I have experience being involved in current Pride initiatives in Arnprior, in addition to that I also have experience in working on Pride initiatives with the Renfrew County District School Board during my time as Student Trustee and Trustee for the past 6 years. To improve that open communication councillors could be invited to a few Arnprior Pride meetings a year and bring an up to date report on what is happening in the community.
The town of Arnprior needs to commit to create a safe and inclusive community for 2SLGBTIA+ youth and adults. Doing this is not going to be an easy task and education needs to be put at the forefront of this. By educating people about Gender Indentiy and Sexual Orientation, and the history of the community it can help people who have different views change their mind about the subject at hand. For example, the town could host a speaker series on such topics at the Public Library or Museum that could bring community members together. I would also like to see a Diversity training program implemented that all businesses and organizations can take part in. This will help create safer places in the community. Additionally, I would like to see more recreation programming targetted to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for both seniors and youth.