The Pride Report

By-Election Candidates on Diversity, Sexual Assault

As we gear up for a by-election in Moose Jaw this week (Wed. Oct. 17), we wanted to know where the city council candidates stand on issues relating to gender & sexual diversity as well as sexual assault. Last Friday (Oct. 12), we sent out a weekend survey asking for responses by the end of day Monday (Oct. 15). To help you get to know the candidates a bit better, we’re posting the questions we asked, the responses and links to the candidate’s official social media.

For those who don’t know, the Moose Jaw by-election takes place on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Polls shall be open to voters from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information about when, where & how to vote, please visit: https://moosejaw.ca/election/by-election2018

The Questions

1. The City of Regina has recently begun working with their local LGBTQ+ centre on offering gender & sexual diversity training to City of Regina staff. If elected, would you support a similar initiative specifically offering gender & sexual diversity training to City of Moose Jaw staff? Would you personally agree to participate in this training?

2. Sexual assault and harassment are urgent issues that need to be addressed both in city facilities and the community at large. If elected, how would you work towards creating an environment free of sexual assault & harassment for City Staff and for all Moose Javians?

The Candidates

Mike Bachiu

“Thank you for reaching out to me.

1. It’s wonderful to hear about the initiative the City of Regina has started. I would definitely support a similar initiative here in Moose Jaw and would of course agree to participate in the training. The main opponent of acceptance is ignorance, so information is the key to becoming a truly inclusive society.

2. I believe that the recent issues with the DFFH have opened our eyes as to how widespread and close to home that sexual harassment can be. From what I understand, many of the safeguards in place for this (being able to register complaints/concerns without fear of reprisals, having an independent HR division, having an arm’s length Board) were certainly already in place, yet somehow the issues weren’t resolved until the public became aware. With the safeguards that were established, the third-party investigator should have been involved at a much earlier stage I believe. I feel that a review of the investigator’s findings, to pinpoint where the support structure began to break down, would lead us to where we need to focus on to ensure similar incidents are dealt with efficiently. Also, I would like to review the City’s Harassment Policy to make sure that proper training is outlined and provided for people who may experience or witness suspected harassment. No person should go to work fearing that their dignity or safety may be compromised.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions that would better protect the rights and dignity of any person who may feel marginalized or excluded. Thank you so much for the care and support that you provide for the Moose Jaw community.”

Visit: Mike Bachiu for Moose Jaw City Council
 

Doug Blanc

“The quick answer is absolutely.
Harassment of any nature should not be tolerated in any workplace or in our society. We should do everything possible to eliminate this negative behavior in our city.

I would definitely support all education or training to city staff including city council members. However I would not limit it to only staff of the city. I would want to include all members of any any city santioned boards. I believe all city staff, council memers and board members should be required to take this training.

In the past when I was opening any convention or meeting, I also read an equity statement which in part stated ” this meeting will be held in racist free environment. We will not tolerate racism, ageism, sexism, abilism, homophobia, heterosexism and other forms of harassment which violates a members right to be treated with dignity and respect”. I always requested that others chairing read this statement. It wasn’t just reading it you had to believe it also which I did.

I know you didn’t ask but the situation at Mosaic Place was not handled properaly in any fashion. It should have been dealt with in a timely manner. Never should this have been shoved under the rug for two or more months. By having training into all forms of harassment hopefully will iliminate it from city operated facilities.

Further City Council and city adminstration should be encouraging all employers in the city to offer this training. And it should be one of the questions asked when the city hires contractors to perform work for the City, if their employees have taken this training or if they offer it.

Thank you.”

We could not find a website, Facebook page or other social media by Doug Blanc.
 

Heather Eby

Heather Eby did not have a phone number or email listed in her candidate profile on the City of Moose Jaw website. We did a quick Google search and found a Facebook Page for Heather Eby City News Views and Reviews. We attempted to contact Heather Eby by Facebook message and although the message was “viewed” there was no response as of the date of publishing.

Read Heather Eby’s Candidate Profile Here
 

Steven J. White

Steven J. White also did not list his email or phone number on the City of Moose Jaw website. We contacted him via his Facebook page: Steven J. White for Moose Jaw City Council.

This is the response we received from Steven J. White’s personal Facebook account:

“my apologies but apparently i’m in Fakebook jail with my City Council site. anything i post gets seen by like 5 people then all i get are popups to spend money advertising them to 14,000 fakebook viewers. i keep getting notifications that i have emails but i can never see them. would it be possible to come meet you some time after 1pm tomorrow and discuss whatever it was you’d like to discuss in person? just let me know when and where? thanks”

We responded to Steven J. White to let him know that since these questions were being sent out as a survey, it would be unfair to the other candidates for us to meet up with him in person. We re-sent the message and asked for a response by end of day Monday. Although our message was “viewed”, there was no response as of the date of publishing.
 

More Info

For more candidate information, consider reading one of the Daily Jaw’s articles on the by election such as:
https://www.dailyjaw.com/2018/09/13/one-of-them-will-be-your-next-city-councillor/

The Moose Jaw by-election takes place on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Polls shall be open to voters from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information about when, where & how to vote, please visit: https://moosejaw.ca/election/by-election2018

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