First shadow program between LGBT students and MPs
OTTAWA, April 20, 2012 – Today, the New Democrat Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Caucus announced the launch of Rainbow Day a LGBT shadow program which will take place this May 1st.
“It is time that LGBT youth see firsthand what a positive impact that they can have,” said NDP Associate Critic for LGBT Dany Morin (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord).
Working in conjunction with Jer’s Vision, Rainbow Day will be an annual event in Ottawa that will pair MPs from the LGBT caucus with students to see what life is like on Parliament Hill.
“Giving young people opportunities and role models is part of making it better now,” said NDP LGBT critic Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca). “By creating opportunities for LGBT youth to meet and shadow a LGBT MP, we are showing them that their voices count and that there is space for them to be involved in politics.”
So far, along with Garrison and Morin, NDP MPs Libby Davies (Vancouver East), Phil Toone (Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine) and Craig Scott (Toronto-Danforth) as well as Liberal MP Scott Brison (Kings—Hants) have stepped forward to be the inaugural Rainbow Day mentors.
“It is an honour to work with Jer’s Vision,” said Morin. “They have shown us that the best anti bullying programs involve inspiring people and giving them hope.”
The NDP LGBT Caucus is working closely with Jer’s Vision, a leading anti-bullying and anti-discrimination organization that runs programs all over Canada and the United States.
“While homophobia is still a daily fact of life for many within our community, there is also a lot to celebrate,” said Jeremy Dias, founder of Jer’s Vision. “This event was designed to both inspire and remind LGBT youth the contributions LGBT people make across the country.”