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Hamilton’s LGBTQ2 Advisory Committee finally OK’d to address board

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Hamilton’s LGBTQ2 Advisory Committee finally OK’d to address board

The Hamilton Police Services Board (HPSB) will finally hear a deputation from the City’s LGBTQ2 Advisory Committee (LGBTQ2AC) in the new year.

After months of being told their deputation request to the HPSB was ‘not relevant,’ the LGBTQ2AC is expected to address the board at their January meeting.

HPSB member Geordie Elms introduced the motion to hear the delegation.

“We should allow them to speak,” he said when introducing the motion. The board voted unanimously to allow a delegation.

The LGBTQ2AC has been unsuccessfully trying to send a delegation to the HPSB since the beginning of October to address concerns relating to the board’s process of appointing members.

The concern is that the board does not reflect the diversity of the city and therefore doesn’t reflect the needs of marginalized communities.

The LGBTQ2AC is hoping that the board will reconsider their recent citizen appointee and engage in a selection process that is informed by voices from marginalized communities.

“You have the right to ask City Council to reevaluate the appointment processes that have been used to select the sole citizen appointee to this Board,” an LGBTQ2AC letter to the HPSB says.

“You have a right to say that the process didn’t meet the standards of community engagement that are expected by Hamiltonians.”

The LGBTQ2AC also plans to address issues pertaining to a meeting they held shortly after Hamilton’s 2019 Pride event where protestors and event attendees clashed violently.

The meeting, the letter to HPSB says, was meant to be a “safe space” for members of the community who were coping with the fallout of the Pride violence. People attending the meeting were asked not to surveil to allow for people to speak openly about their experience.

It’s alleged that a Hamilton Police officer attended the event and subsequently reported back to the Ontario Parole Board about comments made during the meeting.

“Where is the balance between honouring, respecting, and meeting marginalized communities where they are at vs. a duty to surveil?” the letter reads.

This action, the letter said, among others has done much to erode the trust in the Hamilton Police Service.

“We ask you to consider the ability, conduct and service of the Hamilton Police Service to engage in meaningful dialogue with communities in Hamilton, to take action based on our recommendations and comments, and to apologize and acknowledge behaviour where it has been inappropriate or harmful,” the LGBTQ2AC letter concludes.

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