University of Regina alum and former Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana, the Honourable Ralph Goodale BA’71, has been appointed as High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

 

In his new position, Goodale will provide strategic advice to the Prime Minister on areas of importance to people in Canada and the United Kingdom. This includes many current and ongoing challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, pursuing post-Brexit trade, and creating job opportunities.

“Ralph Goodale’s decades of experience will continue to serve Canadians well in his new position as High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As a trusted advisor in London, he will work to further strengthen the friendship between our two countries while we work together to tackle our greatest challenges, and continue to offer thoughtful and heartfelt advice on behalf of Canadians,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an announcement from the Office of the Prime Minister, this week.

 

Goodale grew up on a farm near Wilcox, Saskatchewan and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Regina in 1971 when it was the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan. He went on to graduate from the University of Saskatchewan in 1972 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Goodale also received the University of Regina President’s Community Award in 2014, which recognized his contributions to public service and his dedication to Saskatchewan and its residents.

 

"As one of the University of Regina's most distinguished alumni, Mr Goodale has served our province and country with integrity and distinction for nearly five decades," said University of Regina Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Thomas Chase. "There is no one more experienced or more qualified to represent Canada internationally, and on behalf of our entire University community, I wish him all the best in this important role."

 

Most recently, Goodale served in the federal Cabinet as Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. He was also the lead on Canada’s response to Iran’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 in a special advisory position to the Prime Minister.

 

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We at the University of Regina offer our sincere apologies for an egregious error in the printing of our Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Degrees, the University magazine.

In referring to a transgender person, we inadvertently used their birthname in lieu of the name that they use. This process is known by many in the 2SLGBTQ+ community as "using their deadname." We recognize that this is not only incredibly offensive, but is a violation of their privacy and identity, and carries psychological and emotional trauma for the victim. Though this error was unintentional, using a deadname in the magazine was, and is, inexcusable. For that, we are deeply sorry.

We are taking the following actions to help address this particular situation, including:

Members of the University's Executive Team, as well as University Advancement and Communications (UAC), the unit responsible for the production of Degrees magazine, have offered a sincere apology directly to the person we harmed. As an organization - and as people - we have committed to working with them and the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity to ensure that we take action to mitigate the hurt we have caused to them and the 2SLGBTQ+ community - a community that we value greatly.

Through meaningful conversation with the affected person and UR Pride, the University has come to understand that current policies and practices have inadvertently affected others, albeit in not as public a manner. We understand that while the person harmed by this mistake is known to us, many trans and non-binary students, faculty, and staff at the University experience acts of deadnaming and/or misgendering on a daily basis within our campus community. We would like to also offer an apology to all those trans and non-binary people, and their loved ones, who we have harmed in this way, without knowing.

As we move forward, the University is committed to continuing our training for staff through our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) office and UR Pride to ensure that institutional communications are sensitive to the 2SLGBTQ+ community and inclusive in nature. Additionally, a review of processes related to individual naming policies will be undertaken to find ways to better manage situations involving naming in the future.

The University is inviting those in the 2SLGBTQ+ community to work with us so that to the degree it is possible we can atone for damage we have caused in the past, and implement ideas for creating a more inclusive campus. To share ideas, please contact us at ask.us@uregina.ca or through UR Pride at uofr.consultation@urpride.ca.

The University is also offering sponsorship of UR Pride's GSA Outreach program, which helps to educate youth and their teachers in Regina schools about 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion.

The University has identified well-being and belonging as a priority within its most recent Strategic Plan, with a commitment to EDI as a major institutional goal. Creation of an EDI Action Plan is underway to promote and help build an inclusive organizational culture that integrates EDI considerations into teaching, research, and learning.

We recognize that this long-overdue work is just beginning, and that we have far to go to cultivate an inclusive environment - one that is stronger as a result of diverse perspectives. Together, we will move forward in creating a more positive, inclusive, University of Regina that fulfills our Strategic Plan's vision to "reflect the world in which we want to live."

Sincerely,

Lisa Mitchell
Associate Vice-President
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The COVID-19 pandemic put a sudden halt to many special events in the past 16 months. That's true of the awarding of University of Regina honorary degrees that are usually presented at Spring and Fall Convocation ceremonies. The last time the University presented its most prestigious awards was in the Fall of 2019. Thankfully, that has changed. This Spring's honorary degree recipients include one of the world's most decorated masters track and field athletes, a respected academic and a tireless Indigenous advocate.

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