Premier promises Pride Week recognition

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MANITOBA’S caretaker premier, who hails from Steinbach, said he expects the province may introduce new “initiatives” for Pride Week — which ends Sunday.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/09/2021 (392 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

MANITOBA’S caretaker premier, who hails from Steinbach, said he expects the province may introduce new “initiatives” for Pride Week — which ends Sunday.

“I understand that there was a desire to have the Pride flag in Memorial Park,” Premier Kelvin Goertzen said when asked Tuesday when and where the Manitoba government would acknowledge the event to support the LGBTTQ+ community. Pride Winnipeg is a virtual event this year because of the pandemic. It runs Sept. 3-12.

“I know there’s been acknowledgements in the past. I suspect there will be this week as well,” he said at an unrelated event.

Goertzen said the province’s protocol staff are working on arrangements to have the rainbow Pride flag flown at Memorial Park across from the Manitoba legislature.

“I don’t think that that’s happened before,” said Goertzen.

“There are a number of initiatives that are happening and probably some initiatives that haven’t happened before,” he said.

When he was health minister, Goertzen made headlines for failing to attend Pride Week events in his home community of Steinbach.

In 2017, he said he wouldn’t attend even if he was available because the 2016 parade was more about shaming people than pride.

“Last year’s Steinbach Pride speeches, which I listened to in their entirety, contained many thoughtful comments about making all communities safe for all people,” Goertzen said at the time.

“But in addition to these, there were many speeches by politicians and former political candidates that spent time criticizing those who did not attend the event,” he said. “I wouldn’t stand on a stage at any non-partisan event that dedicated so much of its time to shaming individuals. Pride should be about pride, not shaming.”

Pride Winnipeg’s theme this year is “virtual pride.”

“We realized that the best way to care for our community and celebrate Pride is embracing the fact that we need to maintain social distance but can still connect with each other through digital platforms. This theme refers not only to how we will deliver our events (virtually), but also how we want to engage and get together with the (gender, social and relationship diverse) community,” it said online.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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