Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo is the Member of Provincial Parliament of Parkdale – High Park. First elected into the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in 2006, she was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014. She is currently the Caucus Chair of the Ontario NDP and the critic to LGBTQ Issues, GTA Issues and Urban Transportation. Cheri is best known for her $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 party’s support.
She was voted Best MPP and Runner-Up Best MPP by NOW Magazine. In 2012, she 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 has also been honoured to be the Grand Marshal in Toronto’s celebrated World Pride Festival. In addition, she has proposed a bill to fast-track benefits for workers suffering from PTSD that has been included on the front page of the Toronto Star.
Cheri is an ordained United Church Minister who performed the first legalized same sex marriage. Cheri also founded Girls’ Government, a non-partisan initiative aimed at getting young girls engaged in the political process. As a critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Cheri fought for the rights of internationally trained professionals to have their degrees and experiences recognized when immigrating to Ontario. Cheri has also been a staunch advocate for Tibetans, Roma, Ukrainian and other immigrant communities in Parkdale-High Park and Ontario. She is the winner of 2 major awards – the Lambda in Washington, D.C. for spirituality and religion for her book Queerying Evangelism, and the Award of Merit by the government of Ukraine for her work on Canada’s first tri-party bill recognizing the Holodomor as genocide. Cheri has also received the Community Hero award from Jer’s Vision and the Rainbow Health Advocate Award.