News / Edmonton

Wildrose, PC leaders will not attend Edmonton Pride Parade

Brian Jean and Jason Kenney will both be attending different events on Saturday.

Alberta Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Alberta PC leader Jason Kenney recently agreed to merge the two parties under the banner of the United Conservative Party.

Jason Franson / Canadian Press File

Alberta Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Alberta PC leader Jason Kenney recently agreed to merge the two parties under the banner of the United Conservative Party.

Alberta’s soon-to-be-united conservative parties will not be represented by their leaders at Saturday’s Edmonton Pride Parade.

Spokespeople for PC leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean confirmed they will both be attending different events on Saturday.

Wildrose Party spokesperson Evan Menzies issued a statement saying the party hoped to be part of the parade but missed the March 31 deadline, and Jean is unable to attend “due to other long-standing commitments.”  

Jean is slated to appear at a party fundraising golf tournament in Ponoka Saturday.

MLA Tany Yao will represent the party for pride festivities around the parade.

Kenney, meanwhile, plans to attend the Brooks Rodeo followed by a “very important” event with the Vietnamese community in Calgary, according to his spokesperson Blaise Boehmer.

“It’s a simple scheduling conflict,” Boehmer said.

The PC Party will also not be in the parade but will be represented by MLA Richard Starke during Saturday's festivities.

Alberta Party leader Greg Clark will miss the event due to a board meeting, but a spokesperson said the party will make a donation to Edmonton Pride in lieu and Clark will take part in Calgary’s parade.

Newly-elected Liberal leader David Khan will be in the Edmonton parade, as will Premier Rachel Notley and other NDP MLAs.

Kris Wells, faculty director with the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, said he is not surprised that Jean and Kenney will be absent, given recent conversations around Gay-Straight Alliances that indicate “anti-LGBTQ tenor" from Kenney and what Wells characterizes as “resounding silence” from Jean and the Wildrose on LGBTQ issues.

Edmonton Pride spokesperson Stephanie Dickie said organizers were “ready to have some discussions around who would be represented in the parade,” but every political party that applied by deadline was accepted.

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