Calls for Pickering councillor’s removal from committee over anti-Pride comments

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Published May 26, 2023 at 1:05 pm

Pickering councillors Lisa Robinson and Maurice Brenner and Mayor Kevin Ashe at the Pickering Casino. Photo Glenn Hendry

Pickering Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to support Pride Month and the LGBQT-+ community, and the single dissenting vote did not go unchallenged.

Before the meeting ended Councillor Maurice Brenner gave a notice of motion for the next meeting calling for fellow Councillor Lisa Robinson’s appointment to the City’s Community Safety & Wellbeing Committee to be rescinded.

Robinson voted against supporting Pride and the activities surrounding the celebration and said the City “should not be putting one group ahead of another.”

“We have an obligation to treat everyone equal,” she said, adding that the world is so “divided” right now. “We should just love each other for who we are.”

Robinson also announced she would be bringing several notices of motion to the same June Council meeting regarding Pride Month, the flying of the Pride flag (and other non-governmental flags), drag shows and the universal changeroom at the Chestnut Hill Recreation Complex.

Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe, who offered his full support for Pride and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community during the meeting, said in a statement the following day the City was aware of a recent video “and the corresponding commentary” from a recent Durham District School Board meeting where Robinson was looking for support for her notices of motion.

“As Mayor, I want to be clear and unequivocal.  Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ rights is about building a stronger and more inclusive community, rather than creating a hierarchy or oppressing other groups.”

Brenner attempted to explain his reasonings for his upcoming motion regarding Robinson’s committee appointment but Ashe, trying to avoid potential chaos in the chambers, cut him off, saying there was “no need for background.”

The meeting adjourned moments later.

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