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Saskatchewan Party MLAs barred from Regina Pride parade over school pronoun law


Organizers for Regina's Pride parade have barred legislature members of the governing Saskatchewan Party from participating in the event in June.

Queen City Pride said Monday that the ban is a result of the Government of Saskatchewan passing legislation last October that prevents children under 16 years of age from changing their names or pronouns at school without parental consent.

The province invoked the Charter's notwithstanding clause in tabling the legislation, arguing parents should have a role in decisions their children make at school.

Queen City Pride said it is also not holding a flag-raising ceremony at the legislature for Pride month.

“We can’t have them masquerading as allies, but willfully harming us the other 11 months of the year,” Queen City Pride Co-Chair Riviera Bonneau told CTV News. “So it was a build [up] but I think it also happened so fast that it was kind of a decision of like ‘No, this is going to happen and unless they change – this decision will stand.’”

Some Saskatchewan Party politicians have taken part in Pride parades in Regina and Saskatoon in recent years.

The Government of Saskatchewan released a statement in response to the move by Queen City Pride, saying it will respect the organization’s decision while defending the passing of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.

“However, we respectfully disagree with Queen City Pride on the Parents’ Bill of Rights which provides certainty for parental involvement in a child’s education and also ensures protections and supports for any students who may be at risk,” the statement read.

Minister of Education Jeremy Cockrill echoed the sentiments surrounding the legislation while admitting he was unfamiliar with the event.

“Quite frankly, I don’t even know when the parade was supposed to happen this year but obviously it’s too bad,” he told reporters on Monday. “Obviously when we have a large provincial event its something that we hope everyone is able to attend.”

In a statement to CTV News, Saskatoon Pride said it has made no rejections for its own pride festival events but supported Queen City Pride in its position.

“So far this season there have been no rejections but more than one clarification has been sought,” the statement read.

“Our process differs from that of Queen City Pride but we congratulate them on their position.”

When asked what the future looks like for the now fraught relationship between its organization and the Sask. Party government – Bonneau said change is always possible.

“We're a community of optimists and believing in love and believing in change and support. So if the Sask. Party does decide to change and apologize and build a relationship with our community, of course things can be repaired,” she said.

“But as they stand and their policy stands right now, this will be a thing going forward until they can learn to support and accept our community.”

--With files from The Canadian Press and Mick Favel. Top Stories

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