A video shot at the Regina city delegations on Dec. 15 shows a side conversation during an emotional testimony by a delegate from Sophia House, Regina’s home for domestic abuse victims.
“It was a very poor choice, and it was quite disrespectful to the gallery full of people who came out to speak their truth and try to create change,” said delegate for Rally Around Homelessness Alysia Johnson.
“From an advocate perspective, we’re in such a tough fight as it is and to have that one extra layer of disconnect is really heartbreaking.”
The video shows a pair laughing and joking to each other while homelessness advocates can be heard addressing the chamber through tears in the background.
Those involved are confirmed to be councillor Landon Mohl and a city staffer.
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Global News reached out to both parties for a comment but did not receive a reply by deadline.
The video posted by Rally Around Homelessness with the caption, “So this wasn’t cool at all,” currently has over 9.5,000 views.
It is unclear what they are joking about during the time of the testimony.
Regina city mayor Sandra Masters had little to say on the matter but did say she received an email complaint about it Tuesday morning.
“I need to talk with the individual who is… probably rightfully feeling offended and then come back to the other side with who in the city should be speaking to them to make amends.”
Advocates are saying that the video highlights the general attitude Regina city council has toward the homelessness population.
“Your job as a councillor is to keep your attention and be respectful… it signalled to the community that things weren’t being taken seriously,” said Johnson.
Johnson confirmed that there were people in attendance who were actively homeless at the time of the video.
“I think they somewhat expected it because that’s what has happened for so many years. They’re constantly forgotten, constantly not a part of the discussion, constantly not invited.”
— with files from Andrew Benson
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