Dear Lord. Thank you for Cheri DiNovo. We ask today that you give her a renewed excitement and passion for the work of MPP for Parkdale-High Park. Help her to focus her energies and talents on the issues that will have the most impact on Ontario residents. Keep her safe as she travels to and from her riding. Amen.
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 NDP critic to LGBTQ Issues, GTA Issues and Urban Transportation.
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 opposition MPP on record.
Cheri was voted NOW Magazine’s Best MPP for 2015, her second time winning the title. She has also twice been voted Runner-Up Best MPP.
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. Cheri has also been honoured to be the Grand Marshal in Toronto’s celebrated World Pride Festival and the Barrie Pride Festival.
Cheri has proposed a bill to fast-track benefits for workers suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) that has been included on the front page of the Toronto Star, and has stood up for cyclists with her 1-metre rule, which the government finally passed as part of their larger transport bill in 2015.
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. 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 several major awards – the Lambda Literary Award in Washington, D.C. for spirituality and religion for her book Queerying Evangelism, the Award of Merit by the government of Ukraine for her work on Canada’s first tri-party bill recognizing the Holodomor as genocide and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Inspire Awards for her lifelong work as an activist for equal rights. Cheri has also received the Bicycling Leadership Award from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, the Community Hero Awardfrom Jer’s Vision, the Rainbow Health Advocate Award from Rainbow Health Ontario, the History Maker Award from Brockville Pride and the PFLAG Ally Award, presented by Rosie O’Donnell.