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Sask. MLA ban from Pride events extends to Battlefords area

Click to play video: 'Queen City Pride cancels flag-raising, bars Sask. Party from Pride Month celebrations'
Queen City Pride cancels flag-raising, bars Sask. Party from Pride Month celebrations
As the community celebrates Pride Month throughout June, Queen City Pride announced it is cancelling the provincial flag-raising and is excluding the Saskatchewan Party from participating in the celebrations.

The movement to bar some Saskatchewan MLAs from Pride Month activities that started in Regina has made its way to Prince Albert and now the Battlefords area.

On Wednesday, Battlefords Area Pride announced it is standing in solidarity unless the area’s MLA denounces Bill 137.

“The Battlefords Area Pride community and allies, especially children, need to feel confident that any events they attend in the Battlefords will be safe and free of judgement,” stated Bobbisue Thom, chair of Battlefords Area Pride. “Allowing any political figures who support Bill 137 to connect themselves with Pride events in the Battlefords creates an unsafe unaffirming space. Since our MLA Jeremy Cockrill is the Education Minister, his presence would be highly inappropriate as Bill 137 targets rights of children and youth who are students in Saskatchewan.”

On Tuesday, Prince Albert Pride announced its stand with Queen City Pride and will be banning members of the Sask. Party and Saskatchewan United Party due to “their vocal or quiet support regarding the province’s transphobic pronoun legislation, known as Bill 137 or the ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights.'”

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“Prince Albert Pride has been very clear that Bill 137 is an attack on the rights of two-spirit and trans young people,” PA Pride chair Chelsea Bleau said.

Click to play video: 'Nightclub owner reacts to Pride flag vandalism in downtown Edmonton'
Nightclub owner reacts to Pride flag vandalism in downtown Edmonton

Bleau said pride activities need to safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQ2 community members and allies.

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“Having MLAs attend our events who are actively trying to roll back our rights is not something we are willing to do.”

Queen City Pride sent out a release Monday saying that it wouldn’t be proclaiming Pride Month at the legislature this year due to the actions from the Saskatchewan government.

“This year, due to the actions of the current Saskatchewan government, we are not holding this ceremony. We do not believe the current Saskatchewan government is our ally, and we do not believe it would be appropriate to allow them to take part in such an important event for our community,” the release read.

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Click to play video: 'Comparing Saskatchewan and Alberta’s parental consent policy'
Comparing Saskatchewan and Alberta’s parental consent policy

CUPE Saskatchewan also showed support for Queen City Pride’s decision.

“Scott Moe is a threat to all queer and trans people,” said Kent Peterson, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “We stand in solidarity with Queen City Pride and all pride groups across the province that decide to ban Scott Moe for the safety of the 2SLGBTQI+ community.”

Saskatchewan Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill responded to the decision of Queen City Pride in Monday’s question period.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” Cockrill said. “When I look at Bill 137 … the focus of that legislation was to make sure that parents were included in the important decisions and important conversations in their children’s lives.”

— with files from Jeanelle Mandes

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