Wall Can’t Say “Gay” In Question Period

Well, that certainly blew up, no help from us…

In question period on Wednesday, NDP leader, Cam Broten, asked Premier Wall if his government would consider providing information to schools through their website about Gay Straight Alliances. Wall said his government would keep that in mind when forming their anti-bullying policy then he wandered off on a tangent about not wanting to risk infringing on religious freedom.

We reported on this Wednesday night.

And apparently, we weren’t the only people to find Wall’s comments disturbing because Broten followed up in question period yesterday with more questions for Wall.

The controversy is even being followed in “the real media” (and incidentally, it was through the Twitter feeds of a couple reporters in the real media, Murray Mandryk and Stefani Langenegger, that I first heard about Wall’s comments) and Wall is having to defend himself to the Leader Post.

And it’s worth noting that Broten’s concerns aren’t just over the way Wall seems to be trying to shift a debate about passively providing information about Gay Straight Alliances on a website — a measure I would describe as trivial, innocuous and, frankly, inadequate — to a one about religious freedom. He also pressed the government on the fact that their anti-bullying press release on the Day of Pink at no point made mention of homophobia.

As Broten pointed out to the Leader Post, “the premier has trouble saying ‘gay’ in question period, it sounds like.”

Anyway, thought it would be helpful to see what exactly Wall and Broten actually said in question period yesterday so I’ll include a transcript of their most recent exchange after the fold and you can make up your own mind about what the hell is going through Wall’s head. Obviously, I have some thoughts on the subject, but apparently I’m a partisan hack just for fukken noticing that this is happening.

Mr. Broten: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday in question period I raised some very basic questions about the promotion of gay-straight alliances as a common sense way, Mr. Speaker, of ensuring that our schools are safe and ensuring that our schools are welcoming places. I asked the Premier, Mr. Speaker, if he would consider putting information, simply information, about GSAs [gay-straight alliance] on the Ministry of Education’s website. And I think this was a constructive suggestion, Mr. Speaker, and I think it’s a common sense approach.

The response that we had, Mr. Speaker, though was surprising to me. Because instead of looking at the merit of that proposal, Mr. Speaker, we saw the Premier talk about the issue of religious freedom, Mr. Speaker, suggesting that simply providing information on the website would infringe on religious freedom. Mr. Speaker, this isn’t about forcing schools to do anything. This is about providing a safe and welcoming environment for children here in Saskatchewan.

My question to the Premier: how exactly does putting some basic information on the government’s website about the benefits of GSAs equate to lost religious freedom?

The Speaker: — I recognize the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wall: — Mr. Speaker, we were having a wide-ranging discussion. Included in that was the suggestion from the hon. member with respect to the website. There is a discussion across the country about GSAs in particular and anti-bullying initiatives that I think is a discussion that we want to have in the province.

More than that, we’ve asked an MLA to focus on this particular issue, working with the ministries involved. And I remember when I did say, rhetorically I think, we wanted to strike a balance in all things that we do in terms of rights that are protected in the Charter and in our own Human Rights Code here in the province, rights to freedom of religion, and rights around sexual orientation and the issue of gender. When I indicated in the House that I thought a balance was important, I thought I saw the Leader of the Opposition nodding his head in agreement.

Mr. Speaker, we are going to continue with the initiative of the member for Fairview. She is going to work with the ministers involved. We’ll take suggestions such as has been put forward by the opposition and, Mr. Speaker, we look forward to working together with the opposition and the rest of the people of the province on an anti-bullying initiative here in Saskatchewan.

The Speaker: — I recognize the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Broten: — Mr. Speaker, I want to be clear. The suggestion of putting more information on the website, Mr. Speaker, has nothing to do with infringing on religious freedom. I’m not talking about legislative measures, Mr. Speaker. That is not where the discussion is at.
What I’m talking about, Mr. Speaker, is the leadership role that the Ministry of Education could play in putting information about the benefits of GSAs, how gay-straight alliances are established, how they operate, on the ministry website. To me, Mr. Speaker, this is a no-brainer. To me, Mr. Speaker, this is about providing information to youth who may be bullied, youth who may be feeling ostracized, and providing to allies who want to support those individuals.

By ramping up the discussion, Mr. Speaker, taking it to the approach of losing religious freedom, Mr. Speaker, I’m worried about the tone that that sets. And I’m worried about the message that that sends to gay youth in our schools, Mr. Speaker, who are struggling with this and who have been bullied, Mr. Speaker.

My question to the Premier: when discussing this issue, why did he choose to go to the place about losing religious freedom, wrapping up the discussion in that way, in a divisive way, Mr. Speaker, in a way that I think clouds the issue, Mr. Speaker? Why did the Premier not simply agree that providing this information on the ministry’s website is a smart thing to do and would help youth here in the province?

The Speaker: — I recognize the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wall: — Mr. Speaker, I’ve already answered the question. The question was asked twice; the answer remains the same. The debate that we had in the legislature yesterday is an important one, more than just the debate, the discussion. We’re going to take action with respect to anti-bullying over and above what already exists with respect to the ministry and in school divisions.

As you have this discussion across the country today around GSAs in particular, there is the debate from the religious community about its implication for certain schools. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact that the NDP and the Leader of the Opposition is not calling specifically for legislation in this regard, and maybe he should . . . If that’s the position of the NDP, they may want to clarify that because we do want to look at all the options. Legislation actually might be one of them, and if he has suggestions around it we’d be interested in those.

But, Mr. Speaker, I just want to be very, very clear. The debate was broad yesterday. It wasn’t just about a suggestion around the website for the Ministry of Education. And I think in all matters, we want to make sure we’re balancing all the rights that are protected in Canada’s Constitution and the Human Rights Code, all the rights. We can find that balance. That would be the priority of this side of the House. I expect it would also be the priority of members opposite.

The Speaker: — I recognize the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Broten: — Mr. Speaker, my questions yesterday were very specific. They were about the steps that the government could take on adding some information to their website. My questions were not about forcing school divisions, forcing schools to do things through legislation. It was about leadership that the government could take in providing information to students, to parents, to teachers, to allies here in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Speaker, on the day that the Premier was on his feet in this Chamber saying that providing some of this information raises questions of losing religious freedom, Mr. Speaker, it was the same day as we know as Day of Pink, and that the government ministry had a news release posted on their website about the Day of Pink. The Day of Pink is actually the international day against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia in schools and communities. So by the Premier’s own logic, by providing this type of information on the website, Mr. Speaker, that post about the Day of Pink would have been in violation, would have been overstepping, in his view, issues of religious freedom.

My question to the Premier: why is he threatened, Mr. Speaker, about putting this issue on the website? Why is he concerned about providing this information to Saskatchewan people, Mr. Speaker? And why did the government’s news release on the Day of Pink not even mention homophobia or transphobia?

The Speaker: — I recognize the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wall: — Mr. Speaker, what an incredible stretch, Mr. Speaker. What an incredible stretch from the Leader of the Opposition to suggest that in the course of answering a question in a general discussion on GSA when we referenced the importance of, well the existence frankly, of a debate today in Manitoba and in Ontario where legislation exists around the issue of freedom of religion — also protected in the Charter, also part of this province’s Human Rights Code — that that member, that that Leader of the Opposition would stretch that to the extent he just did, Mr. Speaker. That is frankly politicizing the issue in a very partisan way, maybe to try to score some sort of points.
I said yesterday, Mr. Speaker, that we were interested in ideas from that member and that party. Mr. Speaker, his suggestion with respect to the website for Education may well be part of the recommendations that come from the efforts of the member for Fairview. We’re taking an open mind to all of those suggestions. There are other issues around cyberbullying that have real concern, I hope to members on all sides of the House. They’re a concern to parents. She’s going to be looking at that. She’s going to be looking at all aspects of anti-bullying.

The suggestion the member mentioned yesterday and today may well be included in that final initiative that the government enacts. But, Mr. Speaker, we’re going to approach it as a total package. We’re going to do all of the homework, led by the member for Fairview in conjunction with the Attorney General and Minister of Education. That’s precisely how it should be done, Mr. Speaker.

The Speaker: — I recognize the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Broten: — Mr. Speaker, if they’re approaching this issue as the total package, looking at how individuals can be bullied, you would think that the government’s news release on the Day of Pink would talk about homophobia and transphobia. That would be taking it as the whole package, Mr. Speaker, looking at all of the issues of bullying that young people in our schools face.

Mr. Speaker, what I’m concerned about is when we’re talking about a serious issue about bullying, we’re talking about an issue where many LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] youth in our schools are facing bullying, are feeling like they’re ostracized, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know why the discussion in yesterday and in question period, Mr. Speaker, had to go to the topic of losing religious freedom because that clearly wasn’t what the discussion was about. And that’s not what people are concerned about here in the province, Mr. Speaker. What people want in Saskatchewan is to ensure that there is a safe and supportive and a secure place for every young person in our school systems, Mr. Speaker. That is what is important.

My question to the Premier: if the approach is a holistic one, looking at all areas of bullying, Mr. Speaker, once again why did the government’s news release on the Day of Pink not talk about homophobia?

The Speaker: — I recognize the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wall: — Mr. Speaker, I just want to be very clear about this again because the member continues to try to make this stretch with respect to a comment I made in one of the answers with respect to the overall context of a discussion on this matter and others, including the discussion we had in this country around marriage, Mr. Speaker, where freedom of religion for those churches, for those organizations that did not want to, for religious reasons, marry gay couples, Mr. Speaker, that there was an accommodation for that. It is part of the discussion. It is happening around this issue in other provinces, whether that member likes it or not.

I know the Archbishops in Catholic have put forward an alternative that accommodates the concerns that have been referenced in this House — quite reasonable concerns, and the concerns we should be focused on — but also focuses on all areas of differences. I think rather than GSAs, they’re talking about committees that would be called respecting differences, Mr. Speaker. This is something that, this is another idea that’s been proposed that would help accommodate certain religious institutions that are involved in education.

Mr. Speaker, the government takes this issue seriously. We’ve appointed a Legislative Secretary to work with the ministers involved. We’ve told members opposite earnestly that we want their input and their advice. We hope that they will continue to be involved. We’ll look at all suggestions, including what is in government press releases, Mr. Speaker, in the future, and also including what might be on the Education ministry’s website.

The Speaker: — I recognize the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Broten: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I’m a person of faith, as is the Premier. I think that’s important to recognize. But I’m not afraid, Mr. Speaker, about having gay-straight alliances in our schools. Because this isn’t about forcing things on school divisions, Mr. Speaker, this is about ensuring that children are safe, Mr. Speaker. A gay-straight alliance in a school is not about putting posters in the hallways saying that students should be gay or that something should be a certain way. But what it is about, Mr. Speaker, is providing a safe space for students who are being bullied and for teachers and allies who want to support those students.

And it’s important to look at the context as well. For example in Saskatoon, Mr. Speaker, five out of seven of the Catholic high schools, the Catholic high schools in Saskatoon, have a gay-straight alliance or a club very similar, Mr. Speaker. These have existence in some schools. It’s not about forcing a school division to do something, but it’s about creating the space, Mr. Speaker, that is safe for students.

So my question to the Premier: I’m encouraged and I appreciate his willingness to work together on this issue to find areas where we can agree and where we can advance the promotion of safety and inclusion for all students. A concrete and a no-brainer approach, Mr. Speaker, is to provide information on the ministry’s website. Will the Premier commit today that they will improve the ministry’s website to provide more information on gay-straight alliances?

The Speaker: — I recognize the Premier.

Hon. Mr. Wall: — Mr. Speaker, in part at least, the hon. member’s question is answered in its preamble, Mr. Speaker, because we have GSAs being formed or groups that are accomplishing the objectives of GSAs. Perhaps the nomenclature is different, as the Leader of the Opposition has pointed out. They’re happening today. They absolutely can happen in the province of Saskatchewan today. We encourage their creation whenever students want to come together with teachers, with allies to make them happen.
With respect to resources that can come from this government or any other source related to government, funded by government, this is going to part of what is going to be considered in terms of the work of the member for Fairview, the Legislative Secretary for the anti-bullying initiative.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

41 thoughts on “Wall Can’t Say “Gay” In Question Period”

  1. In the same week Wall grants enhanced status to a bible college he can’t say the word ‘gay’ when dealing with questions concerning the education of LGBT teens.

    What a jerk.

  2. Ya figure, Barb?

    Which question is that exactly that Wall answered to your satisfaction in the legislature?

    The one about why they won’t put information about Gay Straight Alliances on the provincial gov’t’s website? Because we’ve moved on from that question. I’d argue there are some much more important questions that have been left open.

  3. But he said it, he said it! I count about four times the Hon. Mr. Wall said GSA or GSAs, and once he even said “marry gay couples”.

    Brad said “gay”, *snicker*….

  4. Take a deep breath, count to ten, reread the transcripts, then refer to the FUBAR perpetrated by the government of Manitoba, which it seems that Mr. Broten can’t wait to see duplicated here.

  5. Barb- He has trouble reading the transcript through those orange tinted glasses

  6. Emmet: we’ve got to stop meeting like this. And I think you want the capital letter for an NDP government, but would deny it to any other.
    Brian: it’s not so much the tinted glasses as the Pavlovian response to “religion”.

  7. “then refer to the FUBAR perpetrated by the government of Manitoba, which it seems that Mr. Broten can’t wait to see duplicated here”

    Expanding (without duplicating) the FUBAR acronym here, it becomes an adjectivial phrase, but what noun in your sentence does it modify, Barb? I can’t see which, wickedly or otherwise.

  8. I’ve seen FUBAR used as a noun. And While I’m thrilled that you (whoever you may be) and Emmet have belatedly scratched the surface of grammar, I’d like to see evidence that you can think.

  9. “I’ve seen FUBAR used as a noun.” — perhaps so (we’d have to take your word for it); but was it done by people who can think (if you say so), or those who can’t even use a dictionary (if you say so)?

    But I note you admit that as just used by you, it was used without any other noun to modify, and you’re claiming it would itself qualify as a noun in good respectable writing, right?

  10. Carry on she will, although she might walk away from this thread now.

    Barb, to spell it out for you, Emmet thought your phrase “government of Manitoba” needed to say “Government” in order to refer unambiguously to its provincial government, as opposed to all the other kinds it also contains, municipalities and the like, as an intelligent person like you ought to know.

    And as for “[a]nd [w]hile I’m thrilled that you (whoever you may be)” … oh just continue to think of me as Stephen’s sock puppet, I suppose, same as you always did, probably some invisible friend who may or may not really have an existence separate from his imagination, let alone yet “scratched the surface of grammar” in your/his/her/my/its lifetime.

  11. Gosh, that last sentence is a model of incoherence, so perhaps you should let Emmet do his own spelling out. I’m confident that he will eventually be able to do so without frothing at the mouth and bruising his heels on the floor. Oh, by the way, SNAFU is also used as a noun, and by people you might actually think can do so. here’s an assignment for you: look up the word “context”.

    Emmet: every name you call me can be put back on yourself, so carry on, ditto: better to abuse me than those who can’t defend themselves. Whatever happened to your resolve not to come back to this blog – or was that yet another artifact (which can also be spelled “artefact”) of ungoverned temper?

  12. I’m so glad someone brought up Manitoba.

    Here’s a nutty idea… there is nothing FUBAR, nor anything fubarred, about Manitoba’s Bill 18.

    Requiring schools — especially those that receive provincial money — to allow (just allow, mind, not even require that they set them up) Gay Straight Alliances and requiring them to abide by anti-bullying rules are Good Ideas.

    What Broten brought up on Wednesday, however, came nowhere near that. He was talking about putting information on a website. That’s it.

    Wall, by reacting to some chimera of impending legislation, is the one who jumped the gun here, not his critics.

  13. Brian: They aren’t orange tinted glasses. They’re a very stylish pair of pink-tinted, pro-gay glasses. I can lend you a pair if you want.

  14. agent w: Yeah. Wall did say “gay.” But only while referring to churches being exempted from having to marry gay couples. I don’t think that counts.

  15. Barb: I didn’t call you any names. I described your behaviour over the last few days on the Dog Blog. Malicious troll, that would be calling you a name.

  16. RE: “better to abuse me than those who can’t defend themselves” You have a point. After your embarrassing and revealing “keffuffle” fib, it’s really not fair of me to engage you. So I withdraw again. Goodbye.

  17. At no point did Mr. Broten suggest he wanted to legislate GSAs. The intent was to have the Ministry of Education post info on their website about how students could create them.
    Freedom of Religion was hauled into the discourse in attempt to direct the attention away from Wall’s divided caucus.

  18. the entity agent w, which in barb's mind may or may not think or exist separately from whitworth says:

    Paul: Yeah, Wall did say “gay”, once. To his supporters this can be spun as his quickly spitting through an ugly phrase circulating among the progressives and other degenerates (“marry gay couples”); to his detractors it must now be conceded he’s on record as using the word on record (albeit just this once). But props to Broten for making Brad say “gay” (*snicker*).

    Barb: oh Barb, the lofty pseudoauthority Miz Saylor, oh where to start?, you offer so much to choose from. How about just these for now?:

    (to me) “Oh, by the way, SNAFU is also used as a noun, and by people you might actually think can do so. here’s an assignment for you: look up the word ‘context’.” — but SNAFU when expanded is based on a noun and is thus a modified-noun phrase; FUBAR on the other hand is always expanded as a modified-past-tense-verb phrase;

    (to Emmet) “Whatever happened to your resolve not to come back to this blog – or was that yet another artifact (which can also be spelled ‘artefact’) of ungoverned temper?” — you separated your phrases there with a single dash (as would do for a pause), but were making a change or break of thought in the second phrase, which, as you oughta know, schoolmarm, in good written English requires a double dash. I gotcha a dicsheeunairy reference fer it tew:

    Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Appendix 1 (Style Guide), section 12 (Dash),

    12.1 A single dash is used to indicate a pause, whether a hesitation in speech or to introduce an explanation or expansion of what comes before it….

    12.2 A pair of dashes is used to indicate asides and parentheses, like the use of commas [explained earlier there], but forming a more distinct break….

    The same Appendix also outlines the “standard Oxford University Press style” rules for capitalization, including

    C.1 Capital letters are used for … the names of institutions and institutional groups (the Crown, the Government, the Department of Health, the National Museum of Natural Sciences); ….

    I think it’s very telling that, especially even while correcting others and assigning dictionary exercises to them, you are making obvious simple dictionary-level mistakes of your own, time after time after time. It’s rather amusing to better writers, even if they/he/she/it/I don’t always say so.

    What’s that phrase from the cartoon again, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”? Well, even on the Internet, sometimes with enough clues it becomes obvious, in particular dog-cases, that is. So do carry on, Barb, keep showing us your tricks, we’re getting more edumcated by you all the while.

  19. I Read Paul’s contribution above and was then a little disappointed to read the unrelated bicker below.

    Folks, this is obviously about addressing the needs of gay students who may be victims of queer bashing or ostrasization.

    Kids deserve physical and emotional security. The fear and misery some students feel every day — imposed by ignorant homophobes — is not acceptable in Saskatchewan and this SECOND attempt at pointing that out by Broten was met with more ignorance.

    It really didn’t occur to me until this week that people sitting as MLAs in the Legislature, in fact, do not believe it’s ok to be gay. I’m revolted.

  20. Finally, Kat and McDuckling step in to impose some sanity on this comment thread.

    “Kids deserve physical and emotional security. The fear and misery some students feel every day — imposed by ignorant homophobes — is not acceptable…”

    Yes. Exactly. Thank you.

  21. the entity agent w, which in barb's mind may or may not think or exist separately from whitworth says:

    Ah, well then, “finally”…

    “Finally, Kat and McDuckling step in to impose some sanity on this comment thread.” and “Yes. Exactly. Thank you.” (both in one message about 24hr. after the founding post), hmm.

    “Finally”, “exactly”, “thank you”. Hmm.

    Hmm. Paul, if I may suggest this, … if a comment thread you are starting should happen to require, in your mind, at its inception, the eventual participation, like within 24hr., of certain named parties, such that you can then say e.g. “finally [those I thought of (from the outset here?)] step in to impose [something of their/your own?] on this thread” … ?

    … if so then I would suggest it might amount to tossing a piece-of-play into a game-field you already intended to waddle upon later, once there could be called some wanted result, while appearing to stay “above the fray”?

  22. On the topic of this thread, which was bumped a bit by Emmet’s second Final Farewell Tour and agent w’s identity crisis, McDuckling has it right: young people deserve to live free of fear and isolation, and if a Gay-Straight Alliance helps them do so, good. It has been pointed out by the Premier, back in the first exchange in the Leg., posted above, that school divisions in the province have made provision for such organizations. Regina Public, for one, added sexual orientation to its human rights policy years ago, and while I was on the Board, at least three GSAs were organized by the students at city public high schools. How many there are now I don’t know; student organizations tend to alter as members graduate, but I would hope that there are still those three, and more.
    As to the provincial government’s caution (some would say cowardice) regarding putting GSA info on the Ministry of Education’s website, I would gently remind my fellow contributors that such info is readily available elsewhere, and that posting it on the website could be seen as implying that the provincial government requires GSAs. In a province with a dual school system (which, by the way, is unlike Manitoba), the government of the day has to tread carefully. Certainly, when the NDP was in government, there was amazingly careful treading around the issue of Catholic Separate schools actively recruiting non-Catholic students, which goes against the original intent of the legislation that created separate schools and which costs the public system operating grant money. So, are you excusing such delicacy in a former government, and excoriating it in the present one? I’m afraid that that’s what it looks like.
    I might add that, in the first Leg. exchange, the Premier also pointed out that not all religious-oriented schools in the province are Christian. Saskatchewan is more culturally diverse than it was, as the rising number of Muslim Associate schools attests. One of the principles behind the institution of Associate schools was that the province, in exchange for some financial support, could require adherence to the provincial curriculum and to provincial teacher certification and union membership, among other things. The Associate school was a compromise: a way of encouraging diversity in education, but also of monitoring for educational effectiveness and for adherence to provincial and national law. It stands to reason that what might easily be seen as coercion, even implied, could drive Associate schools of any faith out of the public-school fold, with untold effects on the students to whom the government has obligations. In plain English, you have to tread carefully.
    The Manitoba situation, which I still think was and is royally screwed, must be viewed in context. Manitoba has no dual system: religious-oriented schools either are public schools operating in an overwhelmingly denominational community, or are a type of Associate school. For the last decade or so, the province has undergone a good deal of upheaval in the education realm: forced school division amalgamation, forced property tax rate compliance (e.g. tying provincial operating grants to a school division’s maintaining or lowering property tax, which means cutting teachers and programs), and now a bill, on the face of it both reasonable and desirable, but couched in the same language of force. Small wonder that some folks in some schools reacted to what they perceive as yet another attack. Small wonder that other folks in other jurisdictions are taking notes.

  23. The kerfuffle (or carfuffle, as the Scots originally had it) has arisen because the Premier was asked if his government would support GSAs in schools and rather than answer the question, the Premier made a vague comment that seemed to many to implicate religions in across the board homophobia and further implicated that “freedom of religion” somehow precludes the protection of children.
    The Saskatchewan Party, as anyone who cares about the arts in the Saskatchewan will remember, distinguished itself early in its existence as no friend to Saskatchewan’s gay population.
    The Premier’s refusal to stand up for all Saskatchewan children–religious, gay or otherwise–is absolutely cause for concern and his baffling comments to the press on Thursday about how “close geographically” gay people in Saskatchewan are only makes things worse.

    Personally, I don’t understand why the Premier seems to assume that homophobia is the default setting for religions. That seems a rather dim and cynical view of religion and is hardly accurate. Furthermore, I’m troubled that no one seems to be willing to go to bat for the individual Freedom of Religion rights of LGBTQ folks, who should not be barred from participation in their faith any more than Catholic divorcees should be banned from taking communion.

    As I’ve noted elsewhere, the Premier has had many opportunities to not only do the right thing and stand up for all children in Saskatchewan but also disarm the NDP which seems to have finally made something stick to the Saskatchewan Party in doing so. Brad Wall currently polls as the most popular premier in Canada (not a particularly competitive field, it must be noted), and his popularity could certainly withstand the tiny uproar from the few so-called social conservatives he would annoy by making a pledge to to protect Saskatchewan youth.

  24. Sorry, but I have to make a clarification and an amendment. First, I should have mentioned that there is obviously a third type of religious-oriented school in Manitoba, the private school, which receives no government funding. I oversimplified the above comment by failing to mention private schools, even though by their nature, the discussion does not apply to them. Second, I must now refer to “Emmet’s THIRD Final Farewell Tour”.

    To respond to the TFFT comments above: homosexuality is frowned upon by Islam, and that is evident to anyone who has taken the time to learn about the religion, so the last remark above makes no sense whatsoever. The Premier, in his response to Mr. Broten’s questions, made mention of the diversity of religious viewpoints in the province, and without spelling it out, indicated that Mr. Broten’s requests did not take that fact into consideration.

    The Premier has stood up for Saskatchewan children, if you had the eyes to see and the ears to hear. He has only indicated that solutions to human problems are not always simple or easy.

    There’s a difference between “implicated” and “implied”. You can look it up, or not.

    To conflate the arts community with the gay community, as the Farewell Tourist has done above, is both stereotypical and irrational, again resulting in a remark that makes no sense.

    The second-last paragraph above is fraught with ambiguity. There seems to be, on one hand, an expressed belief that religion is not gay-unfriendly, but on the other, a concern that LGBTQ individuals are being discriminated against by religious communities. Which is it, sir?

  25. I don’t believe it’s acceptable to beat up or torment a gay Muslim child.

    I don’t believe that being gay is a choice.

    ( P.s. Manitoba’s private schools are provincially funded on the same model Wall has decided to now fund Saskatchewan’s private schools. It’s about a 50 per cent funding model.)

  26. “To conflate the arts community with the gay community, as the Farewell Tourist has done above, is both stereotypical and irrational, again resulting in a remark that makes no sense.”

    No such thing happened. I was referring to June Draude’s 2000 crusade against the Queer City Film Festival. I suppose I was naive to assume that people in Saskatchewan continue to consider Film part of the Arts.

    Please, stop insulting me. It’s embarrassing for you.

  27. McDuckling: no one said such behaviour towards LGBTQ Muslim children is acceptable. Also, please look up the difference between private schools and Associate schools, and I think your confusion will be cleared up.

    Emmet, or should I say Fourth Final Farewell Tourist, read what you wrote. Amplification after the fact doesn’t cut it. There’s no insult here: just pointing out lacunae in your reasoning and writing. If anyone should be embarrassed, it should be your guy in the mirror.

  28. Hey Barb! I’ll ignore any condescension as incidental and just note that I’m more than familiar with the funding model for associate schools, independent schools and (in Saskatchewan) historic schools.

    The change here is that private, independent schools will now be funded. These must have a minimum of two students from two different families to qualify for funding.

    Associate schools have long had provincial funding. As their name suggests, they’re each associated with an existing school division.

    Historic schools are also provincially funded.

    So, I think that’s all of them — all but home-schooled kids will now have provincial funding.

    My apologies if my logic in the previous post was difficult to follow, but I’m absolutely committed to the knowledge that, statistically, the proportion of gay and trans students in the Huda school will be identical to that of a public school. Their security and emotional health is my paramount concern.

  29. Barb, my presence seems to bring out the worst in you. I’m sorry that I pounced on your obvious fingerslip on “keffuffle”, and I’m sorry you couldn’t accept your own comeuppance with grace. I don’t need your pathetic attempt at abuse.
    If Brad Wall and whoever else want to hide their discomfort on queer issues behind the malarkey of religious freedom, good luck to them. The are queer Christians and queer Muslims who lead full and rewarding spiritual lives. Institutions that refuse to acknowledge gay rights as human rights will eventually come around, but it would be nice if they did so sooner, rather than later, and with open hearts. No more kids need to die for who they love.

  30. the entity agent w, which in barb's mind may or may not think or exist separately from whitworth says:

    “[O]r should I say Fourth Final Farewell Tourist”? — you would have said “Fourth-Final-Farewell Tourist”, if you knew how to punctuate correctly.

    Dictionary exercise, like you are fond of handing out, do see the Style Guide, being Appendix 1, to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, section within Hyphen 13.2.3, beginning “A particularly important use of the hyphen is to link compounds and phrases used attributively” …. Read and report back.

    If you don’t have a good dictionary at home, Miz Erstwhile-Schoolmarm Saylor, I daresay you could (if you wanted to) find one at your nearest public library. I’d even bet a basically-edumcated person (which may not include you) can easily find at RPL a dictionary with a style guide (that I’d be ultraconfident of betting with anyone), probably even this same dictionary (again I’d be ultraconfident, with any honest person) and read and understand said style guide (a tiny bit less confidence in general), and be willing to learn from it (that I’d have thorough confidence of in general, but almost no confidence remaining there, in your particular dog-case, pseudoliterate Saylor).

  31. The subject heading on each email update I’ve gotten includes the words “Question Period”, “Wall”, and “Gay”.

    Those words have basically ceased to appear on this thread. This spat has little to do with provincial politics, bullying, homophobia or transphobia, or – as Paul appears to have been getting at initially – how the Premier ‘outed’ himself as being completely out of touch and massively backwards on this issue.

    Correct me if I’m wrong (or don’t, because I could care less and someone must be near fainting by now).

    The fact is, Broten repeatedly narrowed the discussion to a simple question, not a demand, whether Wall would post information for kids trying to organize these support groups. Even the legislative route (again, which wasn’t referenced) doesn’t FORCE each and every school to do so, it just makes it possible.

    Let’s not close doors before they’re opened or even pointed at.

    Wall blurred this question with talk of religious freedom, demands for legislation, and almost managed to spin his way out of answering any questions on the issue to reporters. Over a website. If anyone was stretching here, it wasn’t Mr. Broten.

    He even volunteered that he “hadn’t thought about” whether being gay was a choice, but had “heard” it wasn’t.

    Maybe instead of scrutinizing our dictionaries and grammar-guides we should be looking at who we elected to lead this province.

  32. Thanks, McDuckling, for expanding; no condescension was meant on my part, because most people in the province don’t know the ins and outs of school funding, including of the historical high schools (e.g. Notre Dame), and I couldn’t assume that you weren’t of that number. Home-schooled students may actually see a bit of trickle-down, but they’re not badly taken care of as it is.
    The commitment of the province to school funding is based on the perception that, no matter how they’re schooled, Saskatchewan students are Saskatchewan students, and the province has a responsibility to them.
    Statistically, you’re highly likely to be right in re: Muslim students. My point was that, as Islam is not especially gay-friendly, like some other religions or denominations of same, the potential for losing students from the Associate-school fold is very real if there is not a careful and diplomatic approach to GSAs.

    Emmet: I would accept your apology if you hadn’t assumed that I am a liar.

    agent w (yada yada): be a (wo)man and just come straight out with your epithet, which is “bitch”. Proud to have the title, sir/madame, and proud to comment under my own name. Perhaps if you did the same, your problem would be solved.

    Kat: well put, but with the example of Manitoba in the back of mind, I’m not surprised that the Premier was, as described above, very cautious.

  33. I believe everything published was very reasonable.
    However, what about this? what if you typed a catchier title?
    I am not saying your information isn’t solid., but what if you added a post title that makes people desire more?
    I mean Wall Can

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