Sent via email Oct. 7, 2022
Dear Candidates and Mayor D’Eon,
Mayors, 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 position 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.
Jill Holroyd (she/her)
Pflag Renfrew County
Brie Birdsell (she/her)
The Deep River Queer Connection
Data sources: Statistics Canada, Egale Canada, Homeless Hub, Canadian Medical Association Journal
1. Yes, I would support a tangible way to support and recognize the 2SLGBTQ community. If the community feels a crosswalk is a suitable and appropriate approach, then I would support that on the basis that it can be done within any laws that govern formal roadway crosswalks. I would be open to and support other ideas raised by the 2SLGBTQ community as well.
2. I would support new/enhanced methods of communicating accurate, relevant, and timely information. I would support exploring new/enhanced services that could bring safety and security to members of the 2SLGBTQ community.
3. My personal knowledge and understanding of the 2SLGBTQ community and the issues they face is admittedly limited, so I would be interested in learning more about these issues from the community.
Absolutely! The discussions have already begun but I feel the need to take it deeper. A Crosswalk is just a symbol, I want to help create a more inclusive and safe space for our students, young people and adults alike.
Working with Jill, we were able to pass the by-law to have the Pride Flag raised for the first time in 2019. Raising it with Jill and my then 6yr old daughter Lennan was my proudest moment as a Deep River Councillor. In 2022 we were able to have our first ever Pride Walk in Deep River and had an amazing turnout. I am known in my community as a strong Ally to the 2SLGBTQ community and have been involved in the planning and promotion of anything rainbow. We all worked hard to pull off the walk this year and I plan to always be a voice and Ally. I reach out to have student volunteers from our local high-school who are part of the community to help with events and I always make sure they feel safe and included. Being re-elected as a Councillor allows me a voice at the table where policy is made. I have been and will always be known as a strong Ally to the 2SLGBTQ community.
I feel as though I already have a strong relationship with Jill and PFLAG as we have worked together for years now and while my relationship with Brie and the Queer Connection is new-ish, we pulled off one heck of a Pride walk this year and I look forward to seeing all the amazing events I can support for them. I have participated in safe space training in multiple places and have a visible rainbow in my office letting anyone and everyone know it's a safe place. I admit I still have a lot to learn and would be happy to facilitate any training or inclusivity event in Deep.
Thank you to Jill and PFLAG and Brie with The Deep River Queer Connection for taking the time to reach out to us ♡ Love is Love