Saskatchewan

City council to discuss requesting a report on making Regina an LGBTQ-friendly city

Regina city councillors are slated to discuss a motion Wednesday intended to improve the lives of LGBTQ people.

Ward 6 Coun. Dan LeBlanc wants concrete funding to increase inclusion

Le Blanc says when the city decided to ban conversion therapy there was a 'hateful backlash.' (Matt Duguid/CBC)

Regina city councillors are slated to discuss a motion Wednesday intended to improve the lives of LGBTQ people.

The motion was brought forth by Ward 6 Coun. Dan LeBlanc. If passed it would prompt city administration to prepare a report on how the city could improve the lives of LGBTQ people.

LeBlanc says there was hateful backlash when the city banned so-called conversion therapy. To him, that meant the city needed to work more on queer rights.

"Queer people have been and continued to be marginalized and often isolated within Regina," says LeBlanc.

"That's led to some of these bad outcomes, things like mental health concerns among queer people."

'Non queer assumptions about how people live and what people need has led to some of these bad outcomes,' says Ward 6 Coun. Dan LeBlanc. (City of Regina/Website)

LeBlanc says non-queer people can make incorrect assumptions about what LGBTQ people need, which can lead to things like them not being able to access appropriate health care. To his knowledge, there are no queer people on council, he says.

He said many local issues also exist across Canada — such as queer people earning less than non-queer people on average — but that he hopes this motion would address those inequities.

Members from the LGBTQ community will also speak at council Wednesday.

Aspen Huggins is the former vice-chair of UR Pride. They say city council should adopt Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+), an internationally used policy and research tool.

Huggins says GBA+ outlines the impacts of policy changes on people based on characteristics such as income level,
disability, citizenship status, race and more.

"This tool would let the city predict how the adoption of a policy, program or service will affect diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people," says Huggins.

Delegates from UR Pride, Project Play YQR and the YWCA will speak to city council Wednesday. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Claire Carter is an educator in queer and trans studies in the Regina. In a letter to council, Carter wrote that as a queer parent, they have struggled accessing city facilities.

"Personally, navigating city services with my children has led to us at times feeling excluded and/or not recognized, notably recreational services," says Carter.

Carter voiced full support for the motion, saying it aligns with "an intersectional and decolonizing lens." 

City council begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. CST.

Mayor Masters will join host Stefani Langenegger on CBC's The Morning Edition Thursday morning and will discuss the outcome of today's council meeting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fiona Odlum

CBC Staffer

Fiona is a contributor at CBC Saskatchewan. She is from Winnipeg and that is where she started her broadcasting career more than 15 years ago. Fiona has done everything from traffic reporting in a helicopter, to breaking news, to anchoring and hosting talk radio across the country, to telling weather stories.

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