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Statement by Mayor Fred Eisenberger on Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ community initiatives special advisors

HAMILTON, ON - As one of the first steps in building a stronger relationship with members of Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities, I appointed Deirdre Pike and Cole Gately as special volunteer advisors to help develop a community-wide action plan on how we move forward together toward a shared goal of equity and inclusion for all.

Cole volunteered for this role in addition to his current work as Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator for the City of Hamilton’s Trans Protocol, and as Chair of Hamilton Trans Health Coalition. Cole has elected to step away from his role as special advisor in order to refocus on his mandate to increase Hamilton’s capacity to deliver quality health care to Trans Hamiltonians, and on the task of educating the City’s workforce on the Protocol.

I agree Cole’s top priority needs to remain implementing the Trans Protocol for the City of Hamilton’s over 7,000 employees. To date, more than 1,000 City employees, including all supervisors and above, have been trained on the Protocol. Staff are learning Trans 101, language, allyship, the principles of accommodation, and the content and implementation of the Protocol. Cole, along with the City’s two additional Diversity and Inclusion Facilitators, will continue to educate City employees on the Protocol in particular, and Trans Inclusion overall.

I would like to thank Cole for the invaluable insight and advice he has provided me.

Deirdre will continue in her role as special advisor and will work alongside myself, staff and community partners to provide ways to heal and move forward.

I am scheduled to take the full Trans Protocol training and remain committed to ensuring a safe Hamilton For All. I will continue to build strong and meaningful relationships with Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities through listening, reflection and action, and will both initiate and welcome community conversations to this end.