Leadership candidate wants new party in Pride party

Leadership candidate wants party in Pride party

CALGARY — A leadership candidate for Alberta’s new conservative party says he hopes organizers of the Calgary Pride parade will reconsider and allow the party to participate.

Brian Jean, who was Opposition leader in the legislature, said Monday he is disappointed with a decision by organizers on the weekend to reject the United Conservative Party’s request to join the parade. They said the party doesn’t have a clear policy stance on issues such as sexual diversity.

Jean said he had asked to march in the parade and has always championed diversity and tolerance.

“I have many family members who are gay and I know the community. Frankly I’m just disappointed,” Jean said after outlining his education platform as part of the leadership race.

“Possibly they’ll have a change of heart and hopefully they will. This is all about uniting people and putting aside differences and divisiveness.”

Jean’s campaign organizers said that while plans are not firm, he is aiming to attend as a spectator.

Organizers have invited party members to take a workshop on topics such as sexual health and gender diversity. Calgary Pride president Jason Kingsley did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The party says interim leader Nathan Cooper will attend the parade as a spectator and all members of caucus have been invited to join him.

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