Mayor Naheed Nenshi is speaking out about Calgary Pride’s decision to ban uniformed police, and other emergency officials, from marching in this year’s parade.
Local law enforcement can still participate, but they must leave their badges at home.
The mayor said he’s gone through the gamut of responses on this.
“I know that the women and men of the Calgary Police Service work incredibly hard every day. I know that the chief refers to the police as an instrument of social justice in our community. He believes this stuff in his heart and his blood, and I know most men and women of the Calgary Police Service do as well,” Nenshi said.
He said it makes him nervous to penalize people today for the historical actions of others.
“To me, that’s very odd. It would be like saying to the mayor, you know: ‘Previous mayors refused to proclaim Pride Week, so the current mayor is not invited to the parade.’ I’m not a fan of that,” Nenshi said.
However, he is applauding the police for their reasonable response.
“It’s not the decision I would have made, had I been serving on the board of Pride, but I also understand that it is a decision that has been arrived at with a lot of discussion and a lot of consultation, and a decision that the police service tell us they can live with,” Nenshi said.
Nenshi said, this is not an issue that can be solved by “hot heads on Twitter.”
“It’s something that really takes reasonable people, sitting down and having reasonable conversations,” Nenshi said.
“I hope that I will be marching in that parade this fall, and I hope that women and men in the Calgary Police Service, not in uniform, are very welcome to join me in that march.”
Calgary Pride organizers said Wednesday they’ve met with Calgary Police Chief Roger Chaffin and he was open to taking a formal course on diversity and inclusion.