Statement on Violence and Homophobic Preaching in the Village

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019 two individuals set-up at the north-west corner of Church and Wellesley with amplified sound and cameras to target the LGBTQ2S+ community with homophobic and transphobic harassment. This unacceptable act of hate escalated to a physical altercation that resulted in individuals being injured and one of them seeking treatment at a local hospital. There is no place for this extremism and targeted hate in our city or in Canada. I will support the community coming together to resist and reject this discriminatory and vile behaviour.

On Monday, May 6, 2019 at 5:45pm, we invite the community to come together at the four corners of Church and Wellesley in response to this homophobic and transphobic hatred. At 6:00 sharp, we will be walking into the street to form a collective community ring of love and soliday. I am working with Toronto Police, the 519 Community Centre, City staff, and other advocates to support the community. We are collaborating on how to better respond to these incidents in the future and what changes can be made to respond to this hate head-on. I will be advocating with all levels of government for faster and stronger action to address this level of aggression and hate.

The instigation of violence and targeted harassment is not free expression. It is meant entirely to suppress the free expression of others. We will not be intimidated and we will not be made to feel unsafe in our own communities.

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