On July 23, students marched in the Halifax Pride Parade to demand legislation to combat sexual violence on university and college campuses in Nova Scotia. Our contingent was lead by students carrying a banner speaking to the disproportionate impact of sexual violence on students in socially marginalized positions. Students also marched with placards with messages including, “Students need consent on campus,” “Protect queer and trans students,” and “Pride has always been political”.
Motivated by Pride’s political roots, students tied their participation in Halifax Pride to on-going work to pass legislation combatting sexual violence on campus. At this time, two pieces of legislation intended to address sexual violence on-campus have been introduced in the legislature: Bill 114 by the New Democratic Party and Bill 164 by the Progressive Conservative Party. Despite students’ enthusiastic campaigning for the passage of either bill, the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia has refused to pass legislation to protect Nova Scotia’s students. Nearly identical legislation has already passed in Ontario and is being considered in Manitoba and British Columbia. Students in Nova Scotia deserve the same protections as students elsewhere in the country.
Students will not give up the fight. We will continue to campaign for legislation to combat sexual violence on campus.