In July 2017, following Toronto's annual Pride celebrations, I successfully passed a motion at City Council to re-establish the City's LGBTQ2S+ Advisory Committee. This initiative was achieved through strong community support, including a petition, submitted by my office, with over 270 signatures.
In December 1999, City Council approved the establishment of a City-wide advisory committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues. However, with the Committee's disassembly in 2006, the LGBTQ2S+ community was left without an effective channel to voice concerns and review policy. While Toronto may have the country's largest and most diverse LGBTQ2S+ community, these communities continue to experience hate, discrimination and marginalization. Since 2006, this group has been in the top three most targeted groups for hate/bias crimes in Toronto.
The LGBTQ2S+ community has important perspectives on many of the challenges and needs the City works to address, including HIV/AIDS services and funding, public housing, employment, social services, and shelters. LGBTQ2S+ community leadership has helped advance causes like Toronto's LGBTQ2S+ youth transitional housing program, approved in 2015. Reinstating the City's community advisory committee will provide City Council with community-informed advice to consider when making decisions that impact this very important part of Toronto's population. Read the full motion here.
- Toronto city council approves return of LGBT advisory committee, Xtra, July 20, 2017
- Why one Toronto city councillor wants to bring back the LGBT advisory council, Xtra, May 28, 2018
- Mayor’s exec endorses LGBTQ2S+ advisory body at city hall, Signal Toronto, October 24, 2017