What better way to kick off Ottawa’s Pride week than to celebrate with the City of Ottawa’s Flag Raise Tour? Indulging in a decadent early morning pancake breakfast served by volunteers at the Ottawa’s Police headquarters, I got to hear Mayor Jim Watson address the importance of equality in the workplace. Following his speech, he raised our beloved pride flag and unveiled a custom rainbow printed Pride Police car.
Later, I arrived with the awesome Superintendent of Ottawa’s Paramedic Services, Paul Morneau at Ottawa’s Paramedics Service Headquarters where I was welcomed by the incredible Deanna Schofield, A/Supt Hospital Liaison Diversity Champion Program. After, City counselor Catherine McKinney gave a fabulously engaging speech on being LGBTQ+ in the workplace and the importance of having more women, Trans, People of Colour and LGBTQ+ representation within city council. Catherine then held a fierce ‘Rosie the Riveter’ pose for the cameras before raising the pride flag high in the sky.
I followed Catherine to City Hall where she, Mayor Jim Watson, Chair of the Capital Pride Community Advisory Committee, Tammy Dopson, and Kay Lockhart from Gender Mosaic, continued to advocate for social justice for all LGBTQ+ folk, especially those who are Trans, Immigrant/new-comers, Indigenous and People of Colour. With that said, the speakers at City Hall’s flag raise made it obvious that we still have a lot of work to do on the fronts of social equality, but taking great pride in our differences definitely calls for a serious celebration.