Regina Coun. Terina Shaw may undergo anti-racism training despite no formal punishment for comments: mayor

·3 min read
Coun. Terina Shaw listens during a Regina city council meeting on Sept. 14, 2022.  (Alexander Quon/CBC  - image credit)
Coun. Terina Shaw listens during a Regina city council meeting on Sept. 14, 2022. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)

Regina Coun. Terina Shaw may be required to undergo anti-racism training, despite not being formally sanctioned by Regina city council on Wednesday, according to Mayor Sandra Masters.

Masters gave the information during an interview with Stefani Langenegger on CBC's The Morning Edition Thursday.

"We have some follow up work to do on some potential anti-racism training that we will hopefully undertake," Masters said, explaining that she would be happy to attend any training with Shaw.

LISTEN| Regina mayor talks about the future of red light cameras, the central library and Coun. Terina Shaw: 

The news comes after Wednesday's council meeting, which saw Shaw (Ward 7) avoid official punishment for comments made to a fellow councillor.

The decision to not punish Shaw went against the recommendation of integrity commissioner Angela Kruk, who said the first-term councillor should be sanctioned and made to take classes on respectful communication.

Shaw said at Wednesday's council meeting that she has attention deficit disorder and a brain injury. Her disclosure appeared to sway councillors against following the commissioner's recommendation.

Shaw also said on Wednesday that a separate complaint had been deemed unfounded by the city's integrity commissioner.

That complaint, written by Regina residents Florence Stratton and Susana Deranger and signed by 45 other people, outlined two incidents they said were racist, promoted stereotypes and violated the City of Regina's code of ethics bylaw.

The residents who filed the complaint disagreed with how Shaw characterized the commissioner's decision.

"This is really not the case. The integrity commissioner ruled that our complaint was, quote, beyond the jurisdiction of the integrity commissioner," Stratton told CBC.

Stratton and Deranger said they believe Shaw's description is inaccurate and disrespectful.

"I was hoping that my assumptions, because I don't like assumptions, would be proven wrong and that she would graciously apologize and sincerely understand the impact of what she had done," Deranger said Thursday.

"But it's blatantly obvious after what she said to the news yesterday that she doesn't care. She stands by it."

Alexander Quon/CBC
Alexander Quon/CBC

Deranger, a member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, confirmed Masters has been in contact with the pair and inquired about the potential for anti-racism education.

Stratton stressed that anti-racism is only the beginning of what is necessary to make up for Shaw's comments.

The complainants also took Shaw to task for her announcement on Wednesday that she suffers from attention deficit disorder and has a brain injury.

Shaw offered the diagnosis as an explanation for why she makes insensitive comments.

Derranger and Stratton stressed that they are not doubting Shaw's diagnosis, but disagreed with her offering it as a reason for her remarks.

"ADHD does not make you a racist. Sorry, it just doesn't. And she might have a brain injury, but that still doesn't make you a racist," Derranger said.

Derranger added that Shaw's explanation poses a risk of further stigmatizing mental illness.

More than an apology needed

Derranger and Stratton called on the the Ward 7 councillor to begin the process of healing by apologizing for her comments. Shaw has not apologized publicly and maintained she did nothing wrong.

On Wednesday, Shaw repeated that she believes her questions were twisted and misunderstood.

In June, Masters made an apology for Shaw's comments.

Derranger said an apology should also be followed by some sort of reparations. She said volunteering to do something for Indigenous or homeless people in Regina is one example of what Shaw could do.

"You have to make right what you've harmed. An apology is easy," Derranger said.

"But when you have to fix that, then it's a true apology."