Corinna’s Support for the 2SLGBTQI Community

Here are Corinna’s answers to the Pflag Durham Region Survey

Do you consider yourself an ally to the 2SLGBTQI community? How have you shown this allyship in the past year? 

I consider myself an ally and believe in authentic allyship, as opposed to performative. I can point to results: I was the Councillor who brought forward the motion to build Durham Region’s first Rainbow Crosswalk in my ward in Bowmanville. I have continued to support the installation of Rainbow Crosswalks to help raise awareness about issues facing the 2SLGBTQI community and would like to see another one in Bowmanville.

I am looking forward to working with other levels of government to deliver services to the 2SLGBTQI community, and think the Municipality can play a financial role and a substantive role in assisting with providing services, such as allocating space in municipal buildings.

 If elected, how will you specifically work to increase funding for social care services for 2SLGBTQI people in your city, municipality, township, and region?

  • Work with Community Partners like the Aids Committee of Durham Region.
  • Investigate federal funding options for 2SLGBTQI homeless shelters since 2SLGBTQI  youth are at a higher risk for homelessness, and then see if there is available funding at the provincial level.
  • Turning to the Municipality, I would review the Municipal budget line-by-line to find efficiencies to direct towards social care services. One area that is often inflated are senior staff salaries. Furthermore, I would eliminate all Municipal funding for the Clarington Board of Trade as it’s not appropriate that it be funded Municipally as per the Municipal Act since Clarington is part of a two-tier system, and allocate a portion of that funding back to the Region for economic development in Clarington. The balance of the nearly $500,000 per year that would be saved can be directed to social care services.
  • The Municipality can also sponsor events, such as the Gala, Rainbow Camp and/or hold fundraising drives.

If elected, how will you ensure public transparency and accountability for inclusionary work for the 2SLGBTQI community in Durham Region?

If re-elected, I will ensure that Clarington follows the Region’s model as follows:

  • Improve our understanding of diversity and deepen everyone’s commitment to inclusion.
  • Strengthen diversity and inclusion within our organizational culture.
  • Engage staff in diversity and inclusion efforts, and foster opportunities for leadership, advancement and employee development.
  • Identify and address barriers to inclusion in the delivery of Municpal programs and services.

If elected, how will you personally amplify and ensure the voices of 2SLGBTQI community members are present and heard to help inform municipal decision-making?

  • As Councillor for Ward 3, I supported the creation of Clarington’s Diversity Advisory Committee which is an advisory body that provides advice, comments and recommendations to Council and municipal staff on issues affecting diversity in our community. The Committee strives toward a safe, welcoming and inclusive Clarington, where differences are celebrated, and the voices of all peoples are heard. The Diversity Advisory Committee engages Clarington residents to educate and raise awareness by celebrating our community’s differences and strengths through outreach activities. I even ensured that the Terms of Reference include two youth representatives.

How can Durham Region work with Pflag and other similar organizations to promote and expand the annual Pride Festival to attract more community participation from Durham Region and across the Greater Toronto Area? Do you feel this is a responsibility for elected officials to be involved in?

  • I absolutely believe that municipal politicians have a responsibility to promote the Pride Festival and attract more community participation from Durham Region. Durham is, in many ways, still not as progressive as many other Municipalities in the GTA and there is a lot of work to do here in terms of supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
    • Politicians have a role to play in promoting LGBTQ+ inclusivity both in the workplace and in their personal lives, and should share the progress they’ve made to promote inclusivity within their Municipalities.
    • The Municipality could use is platform to highlight the unique stories of LGBTQ+ members of Clarington Staff. This campaign would demonstrate how the Municipality supports its LGBTQ+ employees, and how it supports the LGBTQ+ movement as a whole.
    • It’s important that the Municipality be cognizant of any cognitive dissonances – for example, the Municipality should be careful not to celebrate Pride Month and then a few months later, promote something that contradicts the principles of allyship.

If elected, what will you personally do to create safer environments for 2SLGBTQI people, where they feel they can be visible and represented?

  • I will promote the following principles at Clarington:
    • Although Pride Month is only celebrated one month out of the year, authentic allyship and LGBTQ+ inclusivity should be a year-round practice;
    • Include inclusive photography throughout Clarington’s website and social media campaigns;
    • Create internal policies that protect and support LGBTQ+ employees;
    • Actively hire diverse candidates throughout the Municipality;
    • Donate to LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations throughout the year; and
    • Be mindful of how your year-round partnerships and campaigns align with Clarington’s allyship;
    • Partner with like-minded social justice organizations, such as Carion Fenn and Black Lives Matter.
  • Clarington is about to construct a new twin ice pad and swimming pool in Bowmanville. Actual space should be allocated for use by Pflag in the new facility, and opportunities can explored for further space-sharing agreements at municipal sites, especially those in rural areas that are under-represented. 

If elected, what part would you do specifically to bring forward solutions, as opposed to just acknowledging the challenges faced by service users and stakeholders in the community?

  • I am the only candidate for Ward 3 with a proven record of authentic allyship and I will continue to not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk”. I have brought forward motions to support the 2SLGBTQI community and will continue to support the Diversity Committee and follow its recommendations, as well as work to implement organizational changes to promote specific campaigns and objectives of the 2SLGBTQI community, including public awareness campaigns. I also think that as a municipal politician, it’s important to work the school boards to ensure that awareness, advocacy and outreach start with young people, so that they have an understanding and commitments to diversity and inclusion that will stay with them throughout their lives.

The message sent by the rainbow crosswalks is important: no child should be made to feel alone and desperate to the point of despair.