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Queer Ontario Steering Committee members elected

November 6th, 2011 No comments

Queer Ontario’s first Annual General Meeting and Elections were held Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the 519 Community Centre in Toronto.

Elected to the steering committee were chair Nick Mule, vice-chair Casey Oraa, secretary Martin Otarola and treasurer Richard Hudler, as well as at-large members Lisa Duke and Davina Hader. They join fellow steering committee members Alana Boltwood (chair, Research and Education), Dwayne Shaw (chair, Events) and David Demchuk (chair, Governance and Media).

AGM Reports

The following reports are now available in the Documents section of the website, under Queer Ontario 2011 AGM, as well as via the links below:

Nick Mule – Chair’s report

Richard Hudler – Treasurer’s report

A.J. Lowik – Queer Liberation Theory Project report

Participation from Outside Toronto

To encourage participation from outside Toronto, Queer Ontario used Cover It Live to live-blog the event, streamed an audio webcast via UStream and created the hashtag #QO2011 for participation on Twitter. The archive of the Cover It Live live-blog is now available, as is the audio recording of the meeting (part one, part two - apologies for the ads).

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Queer Ontario Denounces the Institute for Canadian Values’ SunTV Ad for its Anti-Trans Fear-Mongering

October 26th, 2011 No comments

Queer Ontario has learned that the Institute for Canadian Values (ICV) has chosen to continue its war on the province’s trans communities by running a transphobic ‘advertisement’ on SunTV that disingenuously attempts to raise fears around the trans-inclusive materials recommended by the Toronto District School Board for its students.

Just like the advertisement that was run in the National Post during the provincial elections and subsequently withdrawn from the paper because of its inaccuracies, the SunTV ad is grossly misleading and exploitative for callously throwing around and trivializing a set of identities that are used by non-stereotypically-gendered persons to give meaning to themselves and their lives. These include individuals who have struggled with their sex or gender identity in the past because of a lack of transsexual, transgender, intersex, and two-spirited representation in the Ontario education curriculum – struggles that often lead to depression and suicide. This also includes sex and gender identities that raise concerns and fears in less informed individuals because of their misunderstanding of these identities and the lived realities associated with them.

Indeed, these hardships only serve to underscore the need for such a frank discussion of sex and gender identities in the Ontario curriculum to teach Ontarians about the various sexes and genders that exist in this world. And we have faith that our teachers will be able to do this skilfully, using age-appropriate language, to ensure that students are not “confused” by these lessons like the ICV claims they will be.

We applaud Advertising Standards Canada’s decision to investigate the ad and encourage individuals to file their own complaints, drawing attention to Provision 14 (Unacceptable Depictions and Portrayals) of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards:

http://www.adstandards.com/en/consumerComplaints/howToSubmitAComplaint.aspx

We also encourage individuals to write to Dr. Chris Spence, the Director of Education for the Toronto District School Board, to let him know that you support the Board‘s decision to use the Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism curriculum resource guide, which is the target of the ICV’s ad. This can be done via:

Email: chris.spence@tdsb.on.ca
Mail: Dr. Chris Spence, Director of Education, Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N 5N8

This ongoing campaign by the ICV against Canada’s trans communities only highlights the need to include ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ as protected grounds in our federal and provincial human rights codes. Indeed, much like the case of ‘homosexuality’ in decades past, a prevailing ignorance about the lives of transsexual, transgender, intersex, and two-spirited people only serves to breed fear and misunderstanding in people – and, with that, discrimination and hate-based violence. We call on the Ontario and federal governments to step up and take action.

Queer Ontario’s first Annual General Meeting and Elections

October 4th, 2011 No comments

NOTICE: Queer Ontario’s first Annual General Meeting and Elections
Saturday, November 5, 2011 – Light Meal: 7 p.m. – Meeting 8 p.m.
519 Community Centre, Toronto – Room 100/106 (main floor)

NOTE: Nominations for steering committee at-large positions and senior coordinator positions are extended to Monday, October 24, 2011.

Queer Ontario invites you to join us for our first Annual General Meeting and Elections, being held Saturday, November 5, 2011 – light meal at 7 p.m., meeting at 8 p.m. – at the 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, Toronto. All members and friends are welcome to join us.

A free light meal will be provided at 7 p.m. (donations appreciated) before the meeting begins at 8 p.m. We will have an ASL interpreter, and childcare will be provided with advance request at info@queerontario.org. The meeting agenda and meeting documents are available below.

Participation from Outside Toronto

Queer Ontario welcomes and encourages participation in this meeting from members and friends outside of Toronto. QO is in the process of evaluating the best method by which to include those who are unable to attend in person (i.e. Skype, Cover It Live, Ustream, etc.). Notice of the online participation process will be posted once the steering committee and senior coordinator nominees are announced.

Voting and Proxies

Please note that Queer Ontario participating members (those who participated in three or more monthly, general or committee meetings between February 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011) are eligible to vote in the elections, to vote on bylaw revisions, and to participate in consensus decisions on other AGM items as required. For voting purposes only, participating members unable to attend may designate a proxy, who need not be a Queer Ontario member. Each individual may hold and cast a maximum of one proxy vote. Participating members holding proxy votes may cast one vote of their own, and one proxy vote. Please bring one piece of valid identification (photo not required) with you to verify your membership or proxy eligibility. 

Steering Committee and Senior Coordinator Nominations

Nominations are now open for positions on Queer Ontario’s steering committee (two at-large positions) and senior coordinators (chair, two-year term; vice-chair, one-year term; secretary, two-year term; treasurer, one-year term). All participating members (those who participated in three or more monthly, general or committee meetings between between February 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011) are eligible to run for these positions. Participating members may nominate themselves, or may be nominated by another participating member with the nominee’s consent. Nominations close on October 24, 2011. Nominees will be posted on the Queer Ontario website shortly after, and notice of the posting will be sent to the general membership.


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