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Mayor Masters apologizes for council comments

Apology concerned councillor’s comments at the June 15 meeting that homelessness was a choice for some Indigenous people.
Sandra Masters June 29
Mayor Sandra Masters speaks to reporters following the June 29 meeting.

REGINA — Mayor Sandra Masters has offered an apology on behalf of Regina city council for remarks made by a councillor during the June 15 council meeting.

The apology had to do with remarks made during the discussion at that meeting of a motion to end homelessness. Councillor Terina Shaw had posed questions to Sheila Wignes-Paton of the Phoenix Residential Society, and during that exchange Shaw had suggested she was told there were people in the Indigenous culture who did not want to have homes and were homeless by preference. 

That line of questioning drew condemnation from groups including the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

At the start of Wednesday’s council meeting, Masters said that at the previous meeting there were “questions and comments made in regard to those of our homeless community that was received by the community, spoken by non-indigenous councillors to a non-Indigenous representative of a community-based organization, characterizing or racializing a portion, a small portion or small element of the Indigenous homeless population. This is just an apology on behalf of myself as head of council for any harms the impacts of those questions or comments made ...

“… It is fair to say this council is committed, has undergone cultural awareness training and will continue on that path to learning and treating others with sensitivity and respect.”


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