Dear Neighbours, Friends and Community Members,
The history of the equal rights movement for 2SLGBTQ+ people is generally thought to have started in 1969 in New York City where a riot began at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, in response to years of suppression. Pride began as a protest and that work continues today. The reality is that 2SLGBTQ+ people continue to face stigma and discrimination, which puts people at risk for much higher rates of violence, poverty, mental health issues and other complex challenges. And this discrimination is compounded for Indigenous people and people of colour.
No one should ever be the target of violence or oppression because of who they are, or who they love, but we know many people face this every day. Just earlier this month, a local coffee shop in Victoria, our Province’s capital city, received threats of violence because they were hosting a drag show. Incidents like this one highlight that there is much more work ahead of us.
Our government is working hard to advance the rights and freedoms for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. That’s why we took action to ensure the spectrum of gender identity is included on B.C. government ID, or why we ensured that people can change their gender designations on their BC Services Card, BC Driver’s Licence and BCID without the confirmation of a physician or psychologist. It’s why we moved to ensure publicly funded, affirming lower surgeries are available in B.C., and why we expanded coverage of preventative treatment for people at-risk of contracting HIV. These are just some of the steps we’ve taken to build a B.C. where people are truly free to be who they are.
I am proud of all the British Columbians who stand together as friends and allies against hate. This year, B.C. communities like Armstrong, 100 Mile House, Vanderhoof, and Lillooet are hosting Pride parades for the first time ever, showing that more people are feeling comfortable and safe to be who they are.
Pride is a reminder of how far we’ve come and of how far we have to go. A more inclusive society leads to a higher quality of life for everyone, and I encourage you join me in standing against hate and bigotry.
Handle the heat:
Have you thought about how you’ll prepare for extreme heat in BC this year? Use the Extreme Heat Preparedness Guide to get ready. PreparedBC.ca/ExtremeHeat
Museum build halted:
We are stopping the plan to build a new Royal BC Museum. British Columbians made their views clear that we got it wrong. We heard, we listened, and we’re responding.
The museum will remain open, while we begin a new, robust public engagement process with all options on the table. This museum belongs to the people of this province and decisions about its future should reflect their priorities. This public engagement will determine how we address the longstanding structural issues of the museum’s buildings. We remain committed to protecting our collective history and are proceeding with a new collections facility to house BC’s historic and priceless artifacts.
Learn More: Province stops museum plan, will consult public on museum’s future | BC Gov News
My constituency assistants, Angelika Brunner and Sarah Brownlee are both in our Castlegar Office which is open, full time Monday - Thursday for appointment only. Please contact 1-250-304-2783 or Katrine.Conroy.MLA@leg.bc.ca and they will be happy to assist.
MLA Kootenay West