The terms of Saanich’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer sub-committee have been approved, following a slight amendment based off suggestions from committee members.
On Monday, council unanimously approved the terms of the new sub-committee, which will advise the Healthy Saanich Advisory Committee on LGBTQ issues, suggest initiatives and encourage civic engagement to improve the quality of life for Saanich LGBTQ residents.
Coun. Colin Plant, who chairs the sub-committee, said the group aims to broaden the district’s involvement in pride activities and other LGBTQ issues and proclamations, such as the Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31.
While council and staff expressed support for the sub-committee, CAO Paul Thorkelsson noted the wording of one section had implications for circumventing council’s awareness of the sub-committee’s work.
“There’s one addition… which speaks to the consideration of ‘any matters which may be referred to the committee by council, staff or the public,’” said Thorkelsson. “The ‘or the public’ piece is somewhat unusual for an advisory committee or a task group, in that it does potentially create a situation where work could be undertaken by an advisory committee that council is not aware of.”
Plant clarified that the line was meant to allow members of the public to make presentations to the sub-committee, or to bring LGBTQ issues and concerns directly to its members.
“The intent behind adding ‘or the public’ was that the members of the committee wanted their connections in the community to be able to ask them to bring something to the table,” he said.