A Lack of Integrity in Hamilton

Brenda Agnew and the Pride Flag Debate The 905er Podcast

Download episode One of the biggest stories we have covered since this podcast began was last year's decision by Halton Catholic School Board over a motion brought that, if passed, would have seen the Pride flag fly over Halton's Catholic Schools during Pride month, along with a variety of other measures to demonstrate and support acceptance of LGBTQIA+ students in HCDSB schools. The motion, brought by Trustee Brenda Agnew following an initial question raised by a student, was not so much defeated as disassembled by a thousand amendments. But the message was clear – a majority of HCDSB trustees were opposed—some virulently so—to raising the Pride flag over Halton's Catholic Schools, and, at least for some, any suggestion of support for or endorsement of LGBTQIA+ students. It was a decision that received national and even international attention, and went against a trend seen at other Catholic School Boards in Ontario, where numerous votes saw support for raising the Pride flag. But Trustee Agnew is bringing a new motion to HCDSB this evening (January 18th 2022), and with it an opportunity for trustees to take a different approach. Trustee Agnew joined us late last week to discuss why she's bringing another motion, and what she expects from her fellow trustees this time, and why she believes HCDSB's decision over the Pride flag is so important. This episode of The 905er is brought to you by our sponsor: South River Brewing.  Listen to this episode to see how you can save money on your next order by visiting the link below: South River Brewing It takes money and time to create two podcasts a week. We love doing what we do, but please consider supporting us if you can so we can keep improving, and keep paying the bills. Why not buy us a coffee? Or you can support us by becoming a patron for a month, for six months, or forever. See https://www.patreon.com/the905er. Patreon listeners also get to hear our episodes without commercial interruptions. Thanks to our existing patrons! You can join them at https://www.patreon.com/the905er. Supporting the 905er with a monthly donation enables us to do this podcast, to make it better and better, and to make sure it reflects your priorities. Please consider joining our growing team. Nicholas Paul: sound editing. The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes! Don’t forget to check out 905er.ca, even if you get the podcast delivered to you automatically. We post additional news and stories there when we can, and welcome submissions and ideas for additional content.
  1. Brenda Agnew and the Pride Flag Debate
  2. The 905 Round-Up: Covid Deja Vu, Lawn Sign Loopholes and More Pride for HCDSB
  3. The Year 2021 in Review
  4. Urz Heer Shares How a Peel Community Turned the Tide on COVID-19
  5. The 905 Round-Up: Cabs, Council and Politics

The 905er this week is taking a special interest in the Hamilton City Council’s Integrity Commissioner’s investigation of Cameron Kroetsch. For those of you who are not fully aware of the story, Mr. Kroetsch is an activist and advocate busy in the Hamilton LGBTQ community.

He was volunteering as chair of the LGBTQ Advisory Committee to the City Council. Recently, the City Council used it’s Integrity Commissioner to investigate claims that Mr. Kroetsch violated policy when he shared a tweet highlighting a decision the advisory committee made.

Many have criticised the city council for using a mechanism, which was meant to govern behaviour of elected councillors, in such a way against a volunteer. My colleague Roland Tanner and I spoke with Mr. Kroetsch to get his side of the story. As well, we spoke with Joey Coleman of The Public Record to get his analysis of the situation.

This was a pretty big episode for us so we needed to break it up into two parts. Part one is above with Mr. Kroetsch’s interview. Our chat with Joey will be coming on Tuesday.


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