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Council asked to declare Regina an 'access without fear' city
Published Tuesday, August 1, 2017 7:05PM CST
City council was asked to declare Regina an “access without fear” city at its meeting Monday night.
“Access without fear” means anyone can access essential services without fearing their personal information will be shared.
Mirtha Rivera is a Regina resident who has personal reservations about law enforcement because of past experiences in her home country of Chile.
“They took me, I disappeared from the street, they took me and I didn't know where I was going and these people had uniforms and they were army guys," said Rivera.
Rivera supports the “access without fear” policy because she said other new comers to Regina or individuals who do not have legal status have had similar past experiences.
"They have lived the same horrors, not the same experience but they've been oppressed they've been tortured put in prison and some of them have seen their families disappear, taken by those people in authority," said Rivera.
At Monday night’s meeting, city council decided to move the motion to the federal and provincial governments.
Mayor Michael Fougere said the matter was moved to the other levels of government because the city already addresses the “access without fear” policy in their services.
"Substandard housing, medical, social services, those are things that are equally important and have a great impact on people's lives as well,” said Fougere.
“We're saying as an order of government we do not have a barrier to using our services, we want the federal government and the province to start that conversation about how they can demonstrate and show that there is none of that as well."
Coun. Andrew Stevens doesn’t agree with moving the motion to the provincial and federal government as it’s a municipal responsibility.
“I think just the referral motion and sending it somewhere else is kicking the can down the road and I think we should have been an example in the prairies about how to go forward," said Stevens, who represents Ward 2.
Stevens said either way, the motion was a way to get the conversation going.
“I think they is a starting point to a conversation that I think might have never happened had the community members not worked with me to advance this motion," he said.