A Statement from the Chair: Board of Trustees vote against motion on flying the Pride flag

PVNC Board Logo

June 23, 2021,

During last night’s (June 22, 2021) Board Meeting, trustees voted against a policy motion which included direction to fly the Pride flag at our schools and board facilities during the month of June.

We received a great deal of feedback on the proposed motion from members of our community, more so than any other issue during my 15 years as a Trustee for PVNCC. We know that some within our community may not understand or may be disappointed with the outcome of our deliberation. Trustees voted with their conscience on this matter and, in a vote of 4-3, the motion put before the Trustees was defeated. 

As a Catholic school trustee, I am entrusted with serving and protecting Catholic Education in Ontario, ensuring that our faith stands out, that all we do is in line with that faith.

In our Catholic schools, we welcome and value all students and celebrate diversity within our communities and we are committed to supporting the 2SLGBTQ+ members in our PVNCC community. Through the Board’s Wonderfully Made teaching resource, our schools continue to provide lessons and discussion guides for staff which highlight inclusionary practices. As Catholics, we believe that we are wonderfully made in the image and likeness of a God who created us and loves us unconditionally – just as we are. We are called to love and celebrate one another, just as God loves and celebrates each one of us. We honour the inherent dignity of every person by treating one another with care, compassion, and respect.

In the upcoming school year, we look forward to an update to the Board’s Diversity Administrative Procedure and the hiring of a new position – a Board equity advisor. In addition, our planned Demographic Data/Student Census project this fall will gather important data on marginalized groups and provide targeted resources and personnel support to further assist students from a variety of groups, including those who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

We are committed to nurturing safe and inclusive learning environments in each of our schools. While our staff work hard to create and maintain welcoming spaces, we know that there is always more we can do as a system to ensure that all students experience a true sense of belonging and we as trustees remain steadfastly committed to this mission.  

 ~ David Bernier, Chairperson of the Board