Dr. Cheri DiNovo
Minister, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts
First elected into the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in 2006, she was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
Cheri is known for her 2006-2007 $10 minimum wage campaign, through which over a million Ontarians saw their income increase by 28% over three years, and as the “Queen of tri-party bills” for tabling the most bills in the Legislature that have all three parties’ support. Cheri has also passed more Private Member’s Bills than any other MPP in Ontario’s record, and has passed more pro-LGBTQ legislation than anyone in Canadian history. Cheri was voted NOW Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Best MPP for 2016, her third time winning the title. She has also twice been voted Runner-Up Best MPP.
Cheri has been a 50+ year activist for LGBTQ issues. She was the only woman in Canada to sign the ‘We Demand’ statement in 1971—the first demand for gay rights on Parliament Hill. In 2012, Cheri succeeded in getting Toby’s Act passed, an amendment to the Ontario Humans Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression–the first of its kind in North America. She made history again in 2015 by successfully passing Bill 77, which prohibits “Conversion Therapy” for youth (therapy intended to prevent young people from identifying as LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual or queer]). This ground-breaking legislation also de-listed “conversion therapy” from OHIP. Following DiNovo’s introduction of the Bill, President Barack Obama called for a ban of the practice in the United States, and Manitoba tabled legislation to ban the practice as well. DiNovo has championed Parental Equality for LGBTQ parents with her Bill, Cy and Ruby’s Act. The government recently announced that they would bring in legislation and pass parental equality law by end of 2016. Cheri has also been honoured to be the Grand Marshal in Toronto’s Pride Parade.