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Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
June 9, 2015

Winnipeg Pride Festival and Human Rights in Manitoba

WHEREAS Sunday June 5, is the start of Pride Winnipeg Festival, which celebrates Manitoba’s diverse LGBTTQ* community as well as the many obstacles overcome by this community in the history of the province; and

WHEREAS since it began on August 2, 1987, Pride Winnipeg has grown from a one day event with about 250 participants to a ten day festival with over 35,000 attendees, one of the largest of its kind between Toronto and Vancouver; and

WHEREAS this year’s Pride Winnipeg Festival theme is “Evolution” and focuses on the history of the Pride movement and the evolution of LGBTTQ* rights both in Canada and abroad; and

WHEREAS it is important to recognize the progress that has been made in Manitoba and in Canada including the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969 and the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2004; and

WHEREAS the Provincial Government believes in supporting continued social change, including fostering respect for diversity in schools and protecting students from bullying through the Safe and Inclusive Schools Act (“Bill 18”), and making it easier for transgender people to change documents such as birth certificates and health cards, both measures that were opposed by the Official Opposition; and

WHEREAS the Provincial Government also recently banned LGBTTQ* conversion therapy in the public health system and has continued to modernize Manitoba’s family laws to afford important rights to same-sex couples and their children; and

WHEREAS the Federal NDP’s Private Member Bill C-279 currently before the Canadian Parliament seeks to ban discrimination based on gender in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code, a move that Manitoba made in 2012 when the Provincial Government amended Manitoba’s Human Rights Code; and

WHEREAS Conservative members of the Senate made amendments to Bill C-279 to effectively bar transgender people from public washrooms and crisis centres.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba formally recognize Pride Winnipeg from June 5-14, 2015 and affirm its support for Pride Winnipeg and its efforts to promote awareness, diversity and acceptance in the province; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, in recognition that there is still work to be done, be urged to continue to take action to help eliminate discrimination and build a more inclusive society and urge the Federal Government to do the same by reconsidering the amendments to Bill C-279.