I think it is very important that the Town of Petawawa fly the Pride flag during the month of June. To date, the Town has not flown the Pride flag because it is essentially a proclamation, and that would contravene the towns “No Proclamations” resolution.
The Towns "No Proclamations" resolution was passed in 1998, and reads:
“That the Council of the Town of Petawawa declines to declare any public proclamations save those which pertain to matters which are solely and completely within the immediate mandate of Council.”
I am not in favour of this resolution. The town should make proclamations in support of marginalized segments of our community. The "No Proclamations" policy was intended to keep the Town neutral and controversy free. I feel that it is akin to sticking ones head on the sand. The Town must step into the 21st century and abandon this policy. Many other towns and cities make proclamations, and they manage quite nicely. There is no end to the list of reasons detractors will give as to why making proclamations won't work. It's easy to come up with excuses to not do something. If you want to get something done, you'll find a way. If you don't want to do it, you blame the rules. In June of 2021, I voted to change these rules. Because it is a standing resolution, It required a two thirds vote to change. Four Councillors voted to send this resolution back to the discussion table for modifications or to be repealed. Five votes were required, so unfortunately, the resolution still stands.
Municipal government needs to support marginalized segments of society that have traditionally been wronged and discriminated against. 2SLGBTQ, Aboriginal Peoples, Women who suffer silently in violent environments, developmentally challenged people and many others. This discrimination is systemic. Over the years, elected officials have used the power of the state to discriminate against various groups of people, knowingly, and with intent. Police forces have been used aggressively, by elected governments, to further the ambitions of well seated people. This is wrong. If the Pride flag does not fly at the Petawawa municipal office in June of 2023, I will seriously question what I’m doing on council (if re-elected), and what the role of representation is.
There's an old saying:
"The sea of democracy is seldom without a storm"
Politicians ought to expect that things will be messy at times. That's the nature of the arena. To support marginalized groups in our society, I will:
• Fight for gender equity on boards and committees
• Support an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee
• Support efforts at reconciliation
• Support efforts to ensure equity in the workplace
I was interviewed a few times last year regarding support for marginalized communities. Links to the interviews are below.
CFRA - Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts
CBC - All in a Day with Alan Neal
CBC - All in a Day with Alan Neal (additional coverage)
I am an early supporter of the soon to be formed EDI committee in Petawawa. I have been consistent and vocal in my support for the 2SLGBTQ community, and will continue to be. My hope is that the EDI committee will make our community a friendly and welcoming place for all.
If elected, I will support PFLAG initiatives in the town, and will lobby fellow councillors to do so as well. Petawawa has really fallen behind the times in this area, and in the future, I want to see Petawawa take on a leadership role towards becoming a just society. A Town in which all residents are respected for who they are as individuals, and not judged as members of this or that social group.
100%. Absolutely I will. I feel that I’ve been doing some positive things, but there’s always more that can be done. This training could be provided to all members of the newly elected council.