P.A. Pride 2018 off to a flying start

The Pride flag was raised at Saskatchewan Polytechnic on June 4, 2018 to kick off Pride Week in Prince ALbert. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

A legal dispute may have ended the city’s practice of raising courtesy flags on its guest flagpole, but thanks to Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Pride flag is still flying over Prince Albert this year.

Monday marked the first day of Pride Week, held annually to mark the progress made and raise awareness about the work yet to be done in accepting members of the LGBTQ+ community.

According to Jennifer Brockman, seeing the flag flying at Saskatchewan Polytechnic is an important message.

“I think that symbolism is really important. It shows that Sask. Polytech is doing the work towards diversity and inclusion, and it’s important for people who may not feel comfortable or safe to go to different pride-related community events,” Brockman said.

“They know when they see that symbol, this is a safe place to go, and they’re accepted and loved for who they are. That symbolism is really important to have and to show and acknowledge this week.

The six-coloured rainbow pride flag was designed in San Francisco in 1978. The original design had eight colours, selected through colour therapy, each with its own meaning. Pink and turquoise were dropped because they were not a part of the flag manufacturer’s palette.

The current flag includes red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity/harmony and violet for spirit.

About a dozen people attended the flag raising Monday morning, including Prince Albert Northcote MLA Nicole Rancourt. While some Prince Albert city councillors often attend pride events, many are still in Halifax, where they travelled this past weekend for the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference.

“I know within our NDP caucus we feel it’s important to attend many Pride events going on this month because we want to make sure people know it’s a safe place within our party. We’re going to have good representation at the Pride parade as well,” Rancourt said.

“It’s really nice that Sask. Polytech continues their flag raising here. Wirth a lot of students attending, its important to show that it’s a safe place and diversity is important.”

Brockman thanked Rancourt for attending.

“Nicole Rancourt has always been very supportive of our community,” they said,

“Just knowing that she personally and the NDP are not only saying they have diversity and inclusion within, but taking the steps to actually show it too.”

Premier under fire for skipping pride parade

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will not be attending the Regina Pride Parade, several media outlets have reported. According to CBC, Moe plans to be in his home riding of Rosthern-Shellbrook that day. The Sask. Party said other government MLAs will be attending Pride events.

Rancourt said she was disappointed with the premier’s decision.

“I think it’s really important for him to show that he’s inclusive, and diversity is very important within our government,” she said.

“We feel it’s important to show support to all Saskatchewan residents and show that diversity is really important.”

In a statement, the government defended its support of the LGBTQ community.

“Our government supports the LGBTQ community and supports inclusion, safety and compassion in Saskatchewan,” said the statement, which noted several government MLAs will be attending Pride events.

Schedule of events:

Movie night — Stublejumper. A docudrama. 6 p.m. at the library. Free

Indigenous Peoples Artist Collective film festival 7 p.m. at the Mann Art Gallery. Free.

Drag 101, 7-9 p.m. at the Prince Albert Union Centre. Free.

Prince Albert Pride Parade, noon at the Federal courthouse (Court of Queen’s Bench) marching south to Kinsmen Park

Pride in the Park and community BBQ. Free. 1 p.m. at the Kinsmen Park amphitheatre.