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A sample: In April, the committee talked about trying to recruit more queer police officers.
Until the past few weeks, the top cop on the committee was Insp. Nobody would speak but the police sent a short statement on Tuesday, attributed jointly to Sparling and the committee’s civilian co-chair Christine Drummond.“We have recently undergone a transition of leadership. We can just hear people’s feedback and produce a report.”Although the committee’s minutes are full of inconclusive discussions of police in the parade over multiple meetings, plans to host a forum didn’t make it onto an agenda until the following June.They allow gender selections of “other” or “unknown,” which at least allow for other possibilities.London uses the same form design, too, and like Ottawa restricts your choices to “male” and “female.”In June, in an answer to a complaint, the committee heard that the format is set by the provincial government.Increasingly, gay cops worry about being openly cops among gay people.Watson had sent an aide, Mathieu Gravel, who “indicated that the community should have more understanding for the police as many of the things which they are requesting take time, but also indicated that the police have a responsibility to prove progress and motion on the issues.” Concrete timelines and commitments would help move things along, he suggested.This Pride fight is symbolic of bigger problems, they said.
We need a top-to-bottom re-examination of how the police treat GLBT citizens, how they’re trained, how the department answers complaints.
We will reflect on what has transpired over the last year; and see what we need to do in order to move forward in 2018,” it says. In the meantime, Bordeleau and Pride organizers had been talking.
Black Lives Matter protesters stopped Toronto’s gay-pride parade in June 2016, in a confrontation over whether police, whom the protesters accused of collective racism and brutality, should be in the parade and under what conditions. Although Ottawa’s Pride parade that August went off without an equivalent protest, Dias raised the question of police participation in Ottawa’s Pride events when the liaison committee met in September after its standard two-month summer break.“Why didn’t we, the liaison committee, host a meeting for the community and listen? In May 2017, the committee got this update on the discussions: “There is currently no official statement from either (the Ottawa Police Service) or Capital Pride to this matter, other than Chief Bordeleau expressing that he is willing to respect whatever decision Capital Pride comes to.”In June, the committee decided to hold a forum and then broke for the summer without specifically planning one.
September’s meeting, the first after Pride, included a discussion of what it meant to feel safe in a meeting of the liaison committee itself. For people who want to talk about trauma and hate, it’s a place to speak without being judged or interrupted.
You can think the notion of safe spaces is just so much blarney, of course.
As the police moved to online crime reporting to save time and money, Dias pointed out that the web forms for reporting should be designed with consideration for things like non-binary gender identities.