Bill 10 earns thumbs down from youth council

The City of Edmonton's Youth Council has come out strongly against the government's Bill 10, following a debate at city hall.

'If we stop here now we're going to be stuck here for a long time'

Edmonton Youth Council president Claire Edwards leads the debate over Bill 10 Wednesday night. (CBC News)

The City of Edmonton's Youth Council has come out strongly against the government's Bill 10, following a debate at city hall.

Youth Council chair Claire Edwards says Bill 10 doesn't go far enough in protecting student gay-straight alliances.

"There are 95 GSAs. None in Catholic schools," she said. "This bill will not change that. It does nothing to allow students the rights to form a GSA."

Council member Aura Leddy said she joined a gay-straight alliance in high school, calling it her saving grace.

"Bill 10 is a great step but you can't take baby steps with this," she said. "If we stop here now we're going to be stuck here for a long time and a lot of youth are going to suffer.

"This is where you need to take your leap of faith and be there for the youth and upcoming generation."

The council concluded Bill 10 was written in haste, is unconstitutional and impractical.

While the debate was emotional, in the end it was anything but divisive, with the motion against the bill passing by a 14-1 vote.

The motion also calls for the province to consult LGBTQ and allied youth in all matters related to gay-straight alliances.

Edmonton NDP MLA David Eggen dropped by to listen to some of the exchange while on a break from the official debate at the Alberta Legislature. 

"This is the generation that will be directly affected by what we chose to create in the legislature and so I really wanted to see that perspective."

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