• Douglas W. Judson

Northwestern Ontario candidates share views on 2SLGBTQIA+ issues

Conservative candidate Adelina Pecchia fails to respond to questions The results of a survey of Northwestern Ontario’s federal candidates and their positions on issues impacting the queer and trans community have been released by the region’s 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations. From August 27 to September 10, Borderland Pride (based in Fort Frances), Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay, and Rainbow Alliance Dryden administered a survey of federal candidates in the Thunder Bay—Rainy River, Thunder Bay—Superior North, and Kenora ridings. Candidates for the Liberals, Greens, Conservatives, and New Democrats were invited to participate. The survey consisted of six questions on important issues and current legislative priorities for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, including proposed federal legislation to criminalize so-called conversion “therapy”, efforts to end the discriminatory blood ban, trans rights and access to healthcare, and whether the federal government was doing enough to protect LGBTQIA+ people in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. All candidates responded to the questionnaire, with the exception of Thunder Bay—Rainy River Conservative Adelina Pecchia. Several reminders were issued over the survey period. Pecchia was a no-show for the recent all candidates' debate in Thunder Bay. She is described by her riding association as having worked in “many social conscious activities and positions”. The survey administrators are not endorsing any candidates, but strongly encourage 2SLGBTQIA+ community members and their allies in the region to review the responses from the candidates in their riding so that they can make an informed choice at the ballot box. All voters are encouraged to educate themselves on the issues in this election impacting equity-seeking groups, and to help ensure that Northwestern Ontario elects representatives who are committed to addressing 2SLGBTQIA+ diversity, inclusion, and safety issues. ### Quotes: “It is encouraging to see that we have allies across party lines in our region who are willing to speak out on 2SLGBTQIA+ issues. At the same time, many of the issues our survey touched on are complex, and it’s important for community members to look at the details and ask probative questions about the candidates and the record and commitments of their parties. We thank all candidates who participated for their thoughtfulness and candour.” - Jason Veltri (he/him/his), Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay “Barriers continue to be broken in our politics for queer and trans people, and the responses to this questionnaire reflect that progress. We want to acknowledge David Bruno, the Liberal candidate in Kenora, who we believe may be the first member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to run for Parliament in our region.” - Peter Howie (he/him/his), Borderland Pride “The Conservative platform claims to support a ban on conversion ‘therapy’, but only in respect of sexual orientation. Are trans people not worthy of this protection too? When over half of the Conservative caucus voted against this legislation – against keeping 2SLGBTQIA+ kids safe – it is deeply concerning that the party’s candidate in Thunder Bay—Rainy River hasn’t responded to our questions.” - Douglas W. Judson (he/him/his), Borderland Pride Attached Materials:

Contacts: Douglas W. Judson (he/him/his) Borderland Pride (Fort Frances) Email: borderlandpride@gmail.om Jason Veltri (he/him/his) Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay Email: info@rainbowcollectiveofthunderbay.com

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