Please see the following letter in regards to the Positive Space Initiative by Chris Little-Gagné, LGBT Representative, PSAC Prairie Regional Council.
I am writing to increase awareness of the Positive Space Initiative, which was based on the Positive Space Campaign of the Ontario Public Service. The initiative aims to positively enhance the work experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two –Spirit and questioning+ (LGBTQ2+) employees by encouraging the creation of a safer, more inclusive, and open-minded environment.
The creation of a Positive Space is committed to:
- providing a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities;
- discussing sexual orientation and gender identities in a positive way; and
- referring questions on sexual orientation and gender identities to a contact person as appropriate.
The Positive Space Initiative in the Ontario Public Service and many Government of Canada workplaces is there to train Positive Space Ambassadors as well as provide diversity training. Ambassadors then become visible in their workspace as a “positive space” for anyone dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity issues, or for anyone seeking more information on the subject.
While ambassadors may not be an expert on LGBTQ issues, they are committed to providing helpful resources and referrals, and to educate in contributing to a more diverse and inclusive public service.
This Initiative is very important and should be taken on by all workplaces. Activists within the union should be on these initiatives to ensure that management is not just implementing to say they have one, but not creating an inclusive workplace.
Government of Canada workplaces: GCconnex – search Positive Space Initiative; there are many Departments that have ambassadors. You can also contact the Canada School of Public Service to see if there is training in your area. http://www.csps-efpc.gc.ca/events/psit/index-eng.aspx
Separate Employers or Directly Chartered Locals: There are many tools out there that can be used to help work with Management on bringing in this great Initiative.
I am willing to work with you on the many approaches that can be implemented in your workplaces. I look forward to assisting you on being an active member/ally for an inclusive workplace.
Contact your regional PSAC office for any training PSAC offers.
LGBT Representative PSAC Prairie Regional Council