A Saskatchewan city’s CEO of tourism is facing calls for resignation over allegedly “sexualized” slogans that some sexual assault survivors say have left them “re-traumatized.”
Tim Reid, CEO of the city of Regina’s tourism agency Experience Regina and Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL), faced the backlash after certain slogans and phrases joking about Regina rhyming with “vagina” appeared on the agency’s social media accounts.
“We are the city that rhymes with fun,” one said. “Show us your Regina,” read another.
The Toronto Star reported last week that approximately a dozen protesters gathered inside Regina City Hall to take a stand against the allegedly offensive advertising campaign, including group spokesperson Bernadette Wagner, who argued that the slogans were traumatic.
“Many survivors of sexual assault, including me, have been triggered and re-traumatized by this horrid campaign,” she stated.
“Nor am I the only one who’s absolutely tired of this, tired of the bad jokes, tired of sexual harassment, tired of responding to this misogyny, and especially when it comes from our own tourism department. It is time for the city to take action,” she added.
The slogans have also garnered criticism from women’s rights groups and residents outside of the protesters who view the agency’s advertising as inappropriate and sexist.
Reid has reportedly apologized for the slogans but did not feel that the uproar warranted his resignation.
Regina Mayor Sandra Masters also faced similar backlash from local residents over the slogan controversy, according to CBC News, and similarly refused to resign.
“I’ve had other people tell me that I should just quit. I won’t be stepping down. I think we’re trying to find a way to move forward, and if additional training and education and those types of things are needed, then absolutely,” she said, according to the report.
Canadian reporter Alexander Quon tweeted an image on April 5 detailing protesters’ demands aside from removing Reid from his CEO position, including a “full inquiry” into why the campaign was launched, “fair and equal representation” from all underrepresented communities, including “people with vaginas,” in determining marketing and promotions and inclusivity training.
REAL announced that it would be doing an evaluation into the Experience Regina tourism agency rebrand from “Tourism Regina” amid the festering backlash.
The contentious slogans have since been removed from the city’s tourism webpage.
Fox News Digital has reached out to the Regina mayor’s office and REAL for comment.