CALGARY — A former Calgary transit driver who was fired amid a controversy over Calgary's Pride bus has announced he's running in the federal election as a candidate for the Christian Heritage Party.
Jesse Rau says he will run in the riding of Calgary Signal Hill, where the other candidates include former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert for the Conservatives, Khalis Ahmed of the NDP and Liberal Kerry Cundal.
The announcement was made in a news release issued by Artur Pawlowski, a spokesman for Calgary's Street Church, an outspoken and politically active group that has condemned gay people on its website as minions of Satan.
Pawlowski says Rau will be running "to represent all those in all sectors of society who are bullied by political correctness to do things which violate their consciences and their commitment to Christian Biblical values.''
Rau had threatened to quit his job if he was assigned to drive a bus wrapped in a rainbow flag to mark Calgary's Pride parade.
City officials said Rau — who was still on probation — was let go for breaching the city's code of conduct and media relations policy.
They said he was entitled to his religious beliefs but went beyond that and made false and misleading comments during various media interviews.
His letter of dismissal pointed out that Rau had never been asked to operate the Pride bus and was specifically advised he would not be assigned to it.
"A healthy country cannot have its citizens silenced on important issues for fear of losing their jobs or worse,'' Rau said in the news release. "We need men of character who are willing to truly sacrifice in their efforts to rescue this country.''
According to its website, the Christian Heritage Party is running six other candidates in Alberta ridings; three in British Columbia and Manitoba; 12 in Ontario; one in Prince Edward Island; and two in Quebec.
As of Friday morning, Rau was not yet listed on the website as a candidate.
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