June 19, 2017
RE: Downtown Awash in Pride
To begin, I would like to congratulate Matt Salton and his team for their efforts in organizing this year’s Pride festivities in Kingston. Matt has been a strong and passionate advocate for our city’s LGBTQ community and I would like to thank him and many others in our city for their commitment and leadership over the years.
My purpose in writing today is to address concerns about a perceived lack of support from the City of Kingston. I know that I speak for all of City Council in saying that we fully support our LGBTQ community. Our vision is to embrace and promote diversity in our community, and to stand against hatred, violence and discrimination based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. As per Council approval, the Pride flag was flown throughout last week up at Division and Princess St. and was raised in front of City Hall on Saturday.
I was unable to attend Pride on Saturday because it was Father’s Day weekend, and I was with my family in Newmarket as we honoured my Dad’s memory after his passing last June. I would like to thank Councillor Jim Neill for attending and ensuring City Council representation at Pride.
Please rest assured that both City Council and the City as a whole remain steadfast in our support for the LGBTQ community and we look forward to working together in the future. Last year I had the privilege of speaking at the vigil in Springer Market Square in honour of the victims of the horrific shooting in an Orlando nightclub. I would like to repeat today what I said at that time. It is a sad truth that there are still many places in our world today where people are subject to hatred, violence and discrimination because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Here in Kingston we are committed to modeling a better way; where tolerance, respect and love prevail.