Mayor Ashe’s Official Statement on 1 Million March 4 Children

Posted on Wednesday September 20, 2023

Pickering, ON, September 20, 2023 – The “1 Million March 4 Children”, taking place today throughout the country, has raised many questions and concerns within our community.  Current plans for anti-2SLGBTQIA+ demonstrations at Esplanade Park and City Hall have garnered support from a segment of our residents as well as some far-right hate organizations.

It is important to shed light on the impacts of these nationwide protests. While the campaign claims to advocate for children's rights, its underlying objective is the elimination of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) curriculum and policies, which play a crucial role in promoting inclusivity and educating youth about diversity, respect, and acceptance.

Eliminating SOGI curriculum and policies fosters discrimination, perpetuates stereotypes, increases bullying, and causes tremendous harm to 2SLGBTQIA+ students. In depriving youth of education about diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, it further hinders the development of empathy and respect among students and educators. It also limits access to critical resources and supports. The impacts of this agenda go beyond our schools and contributes to a long-standing history of exclusion that incites hate and marginalizes 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This pattern cannot continue.

I want to make it clear that the City of Pickering stands firmly in its commitment to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and protecting human rights of all individuals, including 2SLGBTQIA+ community members. We support comprehensive and inclusive education in our learning environments and beyond.

While respecting the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression, let us prioritize dialogue, understanding, and unity that reduces harm and fosters respect for all.

Kevin Ashe
Mayor, City of Pickering



As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 105,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:  

Mark Guinto
Division Head, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications l Office of the CAO
905.420.4660 ext. 2013