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Conflicts raised with latest CAP dates

New targeted session aimed at women, another at 40-plus

Panel members Nichola Ward and Michael Went at the first consultation session at the 519 Church Street Community Centre Credit: Andrea Houston

The Pride Community Advisory Panel may need to shuffle the schedule of a few upcoming targeted consultations now that a conflict has been identified, says panel member Michael Went.

Two more targeted consultations have been added, one seeking the input of gay, lesbian and trans people aged 40 and over on Jan 10, and another geared to women in the community on Jan 8.

But the panel to address women’s concerns is at the same time as the targeted consultation requested by the Pride Coalition for Free Speech (PCFS), also scheduled for Jan 8 at 2pm.

Panel member Michael Went says the PCFS is still deliberating about whether to change the time of its session to 11:30am to allow more people to attend.

“Some of the Pride Coalition for Free Speech members may be women, so they may also want to attend the women’s consultation,” says Went, who spoke to Xtra as both a panel member and the co-founder of PCFS. “So the panel made a request to the PCFS to see if they would be willing to move to a different time.”

Went says the session may still be moved. The alternative is that two consultations will run at the same time.

There is also a protest at Queen’s Park scheduled for that afternoon. The Mass Demonstration Calling for Public Inquiry into G20 Summit is from 2pm to 5pm.

Went says 1,213 surveys have been collected to date. He didn’t have an updated number of targeted consultations that have been scheduled.

Meanwhile, the panel continues to read through all the data collected so far, organize the information and identify holes, says panel member and founder of transrights.ca Nichola Ward.

“[The information is] good stuff. It’s quite remarkable actually,” she says. “And interestingly, the age range of respondents reflects the age range of the general population. It’s a good deal older than what people might think.

“So it’s becoming quite clear that the majority of those engaged in the LGBT community is actually 40 plus. Now there is a session geared just to them. ”

The panel, which was appointed to report back to the PT board by late January or early February with recommendations, will continue to collect online surveys and schedule targeted consultations until Jan 15.

The panel came about as part of PT’s June resolution to rescind its censorious ban on the phrase “Israeli apartheid” in the Pride parade. Made up of “LGBTTIQQ2SA leaders and friends,” PT says, the panel is to consult with the community and make recommendations “regarding Pride Toronto’s ongoing working relationship with the broader LGBTTIQQ2SA communities.”

The panel’s mandate is to develop recommendations to ensure Pride promotes freedom of speech, inclusiveness and individual expression.