Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer mingles with Conservative Party supporters in Kelowna, during his transnational Canada Day tour on July 1, 2019. (David Venn - Capital News)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer mingles with Conservative Party supporters in Kelowna, during his transnational Canada Day tour on July 1, 2019. (David Venn - Capital News)

Scheer skips out on Vancouver Pride, Kelowna LGBTQ2+ community responds

‘This is not divisive politics’: KPS board of directors

Vancouver’s Pride celebration saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Green Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh walk several blocks together to stand up for human rights and marginalized communities.

Noted by the Kelowna Pride Society board of directors, however, was the absence of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer

Kelowna’s Pride events concluded a few weeks before Scheer’s Canada Day visit in Kelowna. During his visit to the Okanagan the Conservative Party Leader did not confirm he would or would not participate in a Pride event if he were to be elected Prime Minister.

“As prime minister I’ll continue to support the LGBT community as I have,” Scheer told reporters on July 1. “There’s a lot of different ways to support the community, there’s a lot of different ways to show the support for equality for all Canadians and so I will show my support by doing things like standing up for the rights with people who are persecuted because of their sexual orientation and making sure they have a path to come to Canada.”

READ MORE: Three federal leaders march together at Vancouver Pride

Ahead of Trudeau’s historic apology for state-sponsored sexual discrimination on November 28, 2017, Scheer addressed the House with a statement about the Conservative’s disdain for the mistreatment of people who were suspected of being homosexual.

“In this country, we deplore and condemn injustice towards the innocent, the oppressed and the persecuted,” Scheer said. “We all have a duty, here, today, to ensure that Canada is the best for everyone, no matter who they are.”

READ MORE: Fatal stabbing victim’s father said he fears RCMP will sweep investigation ‘under the rug’

Kelowna Pride Society board of directors, which includes co-presidents Rick Andre and Blake Edwards, Vice President Duell Donaldson, directors Kristina Malekow, Davina Kula and Jeffrey Simon and general manager Dustyn Baulkham, said that Scheer’s absence at Pride is exactly why the event is still needed — to show that being gay is not about divisive politics, but rather, about human rights.

“This is allowing people to live without fear because of their gender identity and gender expression,” the board said in a statement to the Capital News. “It is imperative that leaders use their privilege to show acceptance and inclusion.”

According to Scheer, going to Pride is not the difference-maker in whether or not a party or political leader supports the LGBTQ2+ community. He said the Conservatives will continue to fight for the human rights of Canadians whether he will attend Pride or not.

– With files from the Canadian Press



David Venn
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at david.venn@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

Okanagan Mission Secondary volleyball coach Paul Thiessen cheering his team on during the high school AAA playoffs. (Contributed)
OKM volleyball coach a provincial award winner

Paul Thiessen receives BC School Sports Merit Award for 2021-22

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
North Okanagan teen named to national Para-Alpine ski team

18-year-old Logan Leach officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Carina Stokes, bar manager at Enderby’s Small Axe Bistro, was recognized as one of four exceptional B.C. restaurant workers by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Okanagan bar manager recognized as ‘stand-up’ B.C. restaurant worker

Small Axe Roadhouse’s Carina Stokes one of four to receive special recognition from the BCRFA

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read