PDF version of this letter

5 March 2024

Prairie to Pine Regional Council would like to express our continued support for transgender and gender-diverse youth, both within and outside of our region.

The current provincial policies in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, and the proposed legislation in Alberta, are not based on evidence and will cause irreparable harm to trans and gender diverse youth. Ontario and immediate past Manitoba governments have in the recent past expressed the possibility of adopting similar legislation. No place in Canada is free from the threat of transphobic legislation, beliefs, and activities.

Youth know who they are, and we need to believe them when they express that. At our recent Prairie to Pine youth retreat, youth and young adult leaders created and upheld a safe space for all youth. This was a major priority for us because we understand the harm that has been caused by church leaders in the past to trans and gender-diverse youth and strive to correct those wrongs and ensure that youth can be supported to live as their authentic selves.

Prairie to Pine Regional Council stands firm with Affirm United/ S’Affirmer Ensemble in support of 2SLGBTQ+ youth, and against any form of discrimination or intimidation that puts the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ youth at risk.

Purple background and dancing diverse people with the header "trans people are sacred".To the trans, Two Spirit, non binary, and gender-diverse youth who are living with this hatred: please know that we honour you, just as you are. We will continue to create and uphold safe spaces for you to be yourselves, and commit to asking our members to take action against policies and beliefs that target and harm you. We see you and we love you.

To the members and ministries of Prairie to Pine Regional Council: you are asked to help the United Church and Prairie to Pine live into their Affirming commitments by being public, intentional and explicit in your support for gender-diverse people of all ages. This is a frightening time, but in faith, hope, and love there’s a lot we can and must offer. As a starting point, please look at this urgent call from Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Alberta’s Affirming Connections. If you or your community of faith wish to write to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to express concern about the proposed legislation, you are invited to do so using this action, which is open to people from across the country.

Your Equity and Diversity Committee will be looking at actions that can be taken by the Regional Council, and your ideas are needed. Please contact them through staff support Julie Graham, jgraham@united-church.ca

The Executive of Prairie to Pine Regional Council, in consultation with the Equity and Diversity Committee.