Pride and prejudice

Dear editor,

The following is an open letter to Premier Doug Ford.

Dear Premier Doug Ford,

We are writing to express our deep concern and disappointment regarding your recent comments on 2SLGBTQ+ youth and school boards in Ontario. It is disheartening to find ourselves in a position where we must address this matter once again.

We are also deeply troubled by the perception that you may be using our community as a diversion from other pressing issues, such as the Ontario Greenbelt and other scandals. We believe that it is essential to focus on the real issues at hand rather than using marginalized communities to deflect attention.

We respectfully request a meeting with representatives from Pride organizations across Ontario to discuss several critical concerns:

  1. Impact on Ontario’s Youth: Your recent statements and proposed actions have the potential to cause significant harm to Ontario’s youth, particularly those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Outing students is not a matter of parental rights but a dangerous tactic that can expose vulnerable youth to unsafe environments. If a youth is unwilling to speak to their family, including the parents, that is of great concern to their safety and unsupportive home. Furthermore, it may constitute a violation of the human rights code, potentially subjecting teachers, and administrators to legal consequences.
  2. Support for Pride Organizations: Pride organizations play a vital role in their local economies, as well as in fostering inclusivity and acceptance. We believe that your lack of support for these organizations can have detrimental economic consequences and send the wrong message about inclusivity in our province.
  3. Addressing Hate and Misinformation: Our community continues to face hate and misinformation, and your unwillingness to address this issue is a matter of great concern. We urge you to take a more proactive stance against hate speech and false narratives targeting the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
  4. Mental Health and Well-being: Ontario’s youth already face numerous challenges within underfunded schools. Your proposed actions risk exacerbating the mental health issues faced by 2SLGBTQ+ youth, who are already at a high risk of suicide. The strain on our healthcare system and the potential for tragic outcomes should not be underestimated.

We implore you to reconsider your approach and prioritize the well-being and safety of Ontario’s youth. The 2SLGBTQ+ community should not be used as a political tool or subjected to harmful policies. Please, for the sake of our province’s future, let us focus on issues that truly matter.

We are telling you Premier Ford and Minister Lecce, leave the kids alone.

We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss these matters in more detail and seek a resolution that benefits all Ontarians. Together, we can work towards a more inclusive, accepting, and prosperous Ontario. You must not keep ignoring these requests as we have been asking you to meet with our community since 2018.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your response.

Jason Maclennan
North Bay Pride