Pride, Diversity and Mental Health Funding

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Calgary Buffalo

September is off to a colourful start with the Calgary Pride Parade and festival, held Sept. 2. Now in its 28th year, the event has grown exponentially, welcoming non-profit organizations, businesses, politicians, churches, labour organizations, and many others to participate.

LGBTQ students heading back to school this fall can be assured that they are protected when they create or join gay-straight and queer-straight alliances. The Alberta courts have upheld Bill 24: An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances, ensuring that every publicly-funded school in the province has a clear policy and remains a welcoming, caring, and safe place to learn. From providing fun activities to building support networks that save and improve lives, GSAs have positive and far-reaching impacts on individuals and communities.

The celebration of diversity continues with Alberta Culture Days (Sept. 28 to 30), part of National Culture Days—in which more than 800 communities from coast to coast join the movement to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in artistic and cultural life. In 2017, nearly 100,000 Albertans turned out to enjoy free, family-friendly events. This year’s feature celebration site in Calgary is The Alberta College of Art and Design, and there are more than a dozen pop-up and host sites across the city, including several in the downtown core. For more information, visit: albertaculturedays.ca

Lastly, I’m pleased that more mental health supports will be available at the Calgary Counselling Centre. The Alberta government is providing $566,000 for the centre to expand its community-based counselling services in Calgary, nearby Indigenous communities, and rural areas. This will be made possible using new digital technology, connecting individuals outside of Calgary to counsellors, resources and treatment.

I am always happy to hear from constituents. If you have feedback to offer, please contact my constituency office: [email protected]