POLITICS

Joan Crockatt, Conservative Candidate, Won't March In Calgary Pride Parade

08/19/2015 12:42 EDT | Updated 08/19/2016 05:59 EDT

CALGARY — A Conservative incumbent will no longer be participating in Calgary's pride parade following a controversy over her vote against a bill that would have added gender identity to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Calgary Pride said on its Facebook page Wednesday that Joan Crockatt agreed to withdraw her application to march in the Sept. 6 event.

Crockatt, elected in Calgary Centre in 2012, faced criticism in social media in recent days for being allowed in the parade.

While an MP two years ago, she voted against private member's Bill C-279 to include gender identity as prohibited grounds for discrimination in the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. The bill passed with some amendments, but stalled in the Senate.

Calgary Pride said in a release that Crockatt had told the organization that she felt the bill didn't do enough to protect transgender people and she opposed it after consultation with Egale Canada.

The gay rights group subsequently issued a statement saying it was misrepresented by Crockatt.

"Egale would never endorse or encourage or tacitly approve of a vote against C-279 in the form passed by the House of Commons. To use consultation with us as an explanation of their vote against the bill would be a complete misrepresentation."

Earlier this year, Calgary Pride decided participants in its parade would have to sign a declaration of support for the gay community. That came after concerns that some were joining in for public relations reasons.

The group said it doesn't review voting records of politicians who want to take part in the parade and Crockatt did sign the support letter.

Crockatt's son is a volunteer board member with the organization. Tansy Wong with Calgary Pride said Scott Crockatt was not part of the decision regarding his mother being in the parade.

Crockatt said on her Facebook page that she didn't want her participation to detract from the pride organization's efforts.

"The pride parade celebrates diversity — something I do every day working for residents in Calgary Centre," she wrote.

"I will mark Pride in another way this year, and continue to discuss issues of importance to the community with as many people as I can at the doors. I wish organizers my very best."

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